Reviewed by Tony Annicone
The current show at MMAS is “The Great American Trailer Park Musical”, an adults only, funny but warm hearted musical comedy. In present day Florida, in a trailer park called “Armadillo Acres”, Betty, Linoleum (named after the floor she was conceived on) and Pickles sun themselves with complete indifference to ozone depletion. They provide narration and commentary on the goings on in the trailer park. Ever hospitable they set aside their sun reflectors to welcome the audience.
The girls also introduce Jeannie, agoraphobic and unable to set foot outside her trailer, much to the exasperation of her toll collector husband, Norbert. Her young baby had been kidnapped that’s why she didn’t want to leave her trailer. Just another day, nothing new, except for Pippi, a stripper-on-the-lam who arrives to stir up trouble in her five inch heels. She’s running away from her gun toting moronic boyfriend, Duke who likes to sniff magic markers. So saddle up to see what the rowdy residents are up to for a cat fightin’, sun worshippin’, chair thrown’ good time. Director Dori Bryan-Ployer casts these wild and wacky roles splendidly and obtains marvelous performances from all of them. Think Mama’s Family with a lot of dirty language thrown in.
Dori directs, blocks and choreographs this musical excellently and gives each of her performers their moments to shine in this show. Big numbers include the bawdy “This Side of the Tracks” is about Norbert and Jeannie’s 20 Anniversary argument while “Storm’s A Brewin” is a wild and crazy version of “It’s Raining Men” that has to be seen to be believed. Nicholas Foster is the musical director of these hilarious numbers that leave you laughing hysterically. The harmonies in this show are astounding. The three wild and crazy gals are played by Meg Quin Dussault as Betty, Kelly Crawford as Pickles and Katia Green as Linoleum who sing in perfect harmony and are brilliant comediennes. Betty is a widow and runs the trailer park. Pickles has a hysterical pregnancy while Lin’s husband is on death row. They are the Greek chorus moving in and out of scenes while playing multiple roles. They play guys at a strip club as well as three strippers named Amber, Pippi’s friend Tina, who rats her out to Duke and a deer who gets run over as road kill. Brava!
Some sweet ballads include “That’s Why I Love My Man” and “It Doesn’t Take a Genius.” The antics of these two couples have to be seen to be enjoyed with a surprising twist later in the show. Sheila Kelleher, Eric Lightbody, Stephanie Blood and Anthony Rinaldi play the roles of Jeannie, Norbert, Pippi and Duke. Sheila gets to sing “This Side of the Tracks” and “Flushed Down the Pipes” while her duets with Eric are “But He’s Mine” and “Owner of My Heart.” She is hilarious as this agoraphobic wall flower who suddenly blossoms near the end of the show with a cat fight and a secret revelation that bring her out of her stupor. Eric is very comical as the two women argue over who he belongs to. Stephanie sings “This Side of the Tracks” and “The Buck Stops Here” while Anthony sings the very funny “Road Kill” as he runs over rabbits, cats and deer. Stephanie also struts herself as the pole dancing stripper. Duke also threatens everyone in sight with his gun that he buys bullets for at Costco. He receives his comeuppance in a surprising way which includes being threatened to become a vegetarian by his adopted family. His “Road Kill” song is reminiscent of “Greased Lightening.” So for a rip roaring, good time with a country flavor to it, be sure to catch “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” at MMAS. It will leave rolling in the aisles with laughter. A word of praise to Ken Butler for his design of the trailer park and to Hannah Paul for the colorful and trashy looking costumes worn by the cast,
THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL ( 28 April to 14 May)
MMAS, 377 North Main St, Mansfield, MA
1(508)339-2822 or www.mmas.org