The County Chairman

The County Chairman
   George Ade made his first foray into nonmusical theatre with this four-act comedy, a popular success that opened on 24 November 1903 at Wallack's Theatre and ran for 222 performances. Rural county chairman Jim Hackler aims to defeat Judge Rigby in an upcoming election for prosecutor. He nominates his bright young associate Tillford Wheeler to run against Rigby, but the situation is complicated by Wheeler's courtship of Rigby's daughter, Lucy. When Hackler comes into possession of a story concerning Rigby's crooked dealings, he is persuaded by Lucy and her mother not to use it to win the election. Hackler, a decent man, decides to suppress the injurious story, but Wheeler defeats Rigby anyway and the lovers are united. Critics admired Ade's skill at creating local color through supporting character types. The County Chairman was adapted to motion pictures first in 1914 and later proved a worthy vehicle for Will Rogers in 1935.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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