San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
With a title like "The Great American Trailer Park Musical," one might rightly expect to see a hokey show focusing on poor white trash. That's not quite the case with the show being presented by Cutting Edge Theater. True, the characters are hardly rich, and they're white, but they're not trash. They're just people trying to make the best of what life has dealt them. Along the way, they deliver lots of laughs in this bouncy show by composer-lyricist David Nehls and author Betsy Kelso.
The action is set in the Armadillo Acres trailer park in Louisana . A chorus of three women, all residents, narrates part of the story and helps to propel it. Besides their leader, Betty (Chriatina Viers), the park's owner, they include Lin (Jenna Mastascuso), whose husband is on death row awaiting the electric chair; and 17-year-old Pickles (Andrea Jordon), who apparently has a hysterical pregnancy.
The story focuses on Norbert (Teddy Smythington) and Jeannie (Kayla Blanchard ), high school sweethearts who have been married nearly 20 years. He's a toll taker, but she suffers from agoraphobia and hasn't stepped out of their home in years -- not since their infant son was kidnapped. Complications set in with the arrival of Pippi (Jenna Richard), an attractive stripper who's running away from a possessive boyfriend, Duke (Matthew Welsh). The inevitable happens: Norbert and Pippi have an affair, but of course Jeannie finds out. And of course the crazy Duke, sniffing Magic Markers and Pam and toting a gun, arrives in search of Pippi.
Directed by Brian Fontenot & choreography by???, the seven-person cast is terrific. The chorus keeps the action bubbling along, assuming various persona along the way. Jordon is fun as the not-too-bright Pickles, and she dances well. Smythington singing is great, but he's convincing as the conflicted Norbert is torn between the appeal of Pippi and his longtime love of Jeannie. Blanchard shows the difficulty of trying to overcome her agoraphobia, and she sure can belt out a song. Richards is a very sexy Pippi, but she also reveals the young woman's vulnerability as well as her determination to keep going no matter what. Welsh has the show's smallest role as Duke.
The set by Richard Fuentes and Stanly Leblanc features three rundown trailers.With its clever lyrics, varied musical styles and involving plot, "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" treats its characters respectfully yet humorously, adding up to a fun-filled show.
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