The Great American Trailer Park Musical
Music and Lyrics by David Nehls – Book by Betsy Kelso
The Great American Trailer Park Musical is a country-rock and blues musical, about agoraphobia, adultery, 80s nostalgia, spray cheese, road kill, hysterical pregnancy, a broken electric chair, kleptomania, strippers, flan and disco. The musical comedy centers on a regular guy and his agoraphobic wife, whose marriage is threatened by a hot young stripper who just shows up one day in Armadillo Acres. The trailer park also plays home to a trio of women, each dysfunctional in her own right.
Directed by: Meghan Lynn Allen
MUSICal direction: Timothy chávez**
Choreography by: Karen McMahon
Stage Manager: Emma Connell
- Betty - Christine Greene
- Lin - Kait Rankins
- Pickles - Lyndsay Hart
- Pippi - Jami Wilson
- Duke - Tomm Knightlee*
- Norbert - Jeff Clayton
- Jeannie - Christa Douyard
*Winner of the 2017 MCC Award, Best Featured Actor in a Musical for The Great American Trailer Park Musical
** Winner of the 2017 MCC Award, Best Musical Direction of a Musical for The Great American Trailer Park Musical
Mass critics circle review #2
Few would think that when they sit down before a 21st century play called The Great American Trailer Park Musical, they are about to dive into a redneck Oedipus. We open on three bleach blonde Fates lounging in front of some mobile homes, lamenting their jailbird boyfriends and pangs for motherhood, spinning their gossip (and some killer harmonies), and the world is truly Greek-everyone is related to everyone in a tragic, or, in thiscase, hilarious way. But I'll leave the reveals to the play.
The setting works to the nines; Florida is its own kind of fantasy land. In a state where the headlines seem to out-funny "The Onion", you are free to believe that when a character gets a bad perm on the same day her baby is kidnapped, people remember the bad perm first. They reference Oprah and Britney Spears as the Greeks reference the gods, but here's the thing - though these characters suffer similar tragedies as Clytemnestra and Jocasta, there's a laugh to be had. Moonyean Fields had a ball with costumes, and Adam Consolmagno and Kat Reed really made the wigs full characters of their own. Greg Trochlil crafted a fine set that might make John Waters feel homesick, the perfect backdrop for our players
What an ensemble - though David Nehl's score may suffer from a hyper similar syndrome, music director Timothy Chavez has coaxed a stellar symmetry of tone from the seven players, allowing the audience to really get into every number, and while they're singing, they're having the time of their lives. Christine St. Amant Greene, Lyndsay Hart, and Kait Rankins shine as the Greek Chorus: Betty, Pickles, and Lin, creating nice through-lines for their characters. Crista Douyard is devine as the agoraphobic Jeannie, and a certain "Flushed Down the Pipes" was a highlight of the evening. Sincere and exciting performances are given by Jeff Clayton, Jami Wilson, and Tom Knightlee (whose turn as a rambunctious driver left the audience rolling in their seats). Karen Anne McMahon gave everyone very clever choreography that accented the work, and Director Meghan Lynn Allen really knows how to guide the eye.
Laughing out load was not difficult for the opening night crowd, and I only foresee the jokes getting tighter with this lovable bunch, but the ending of the play seemed to stop the players in their tracks - things were resolved, but not organically, and left me wanting a little more said. The modern musical seems to never answer questions it puts forth in the first act, but that's not to say this production failed to put on a spectacular evening. Perhaps we as an audience shouldn't ask questions of the musical, particularly one as fun as this, but perhaps we should.
In any case, get ready for an evening of belly laughs and beers. This trailer park is filled with good people and good times, and there's someone there for everyone to smile for.
Mass Critics circle review #1
The Great American Trailer Park Musical is now playing at the Opera House in Broadbrook, Ct., and let me just say, this little old lady laughed her behind off!This is not your basic musical, most of the score is forgettable, but it's the characters, and boy oh boy do I mean characters, that keep us rolling in the aisles.
Director Meghan-Lynn Allen keeps the pace moving swiftly and with lots of fun. Two things that really stood out for me at the show were: the amazing set design of Greg Trochlil. This man is the master of putting together a bright colorful and comical set. All the performances were great and filled with energy. Great singing voices and great delivery on lines...but the performance that stood out for me was that of Lyndsay Hart as Pickles. Miss Hart delivers a true comic genius performance here. Her timing and facial expressions are worth the price of your ticket. This musical is not for everyone, it does contain racey language and off color humor. Like a dirty version of Hee-Haw. But for an old fashion belly laugh, check out this little gem. Its there until Sept. 25, 2016.