“Trailer Park” Rocks in a Raucous and Raunchy Romp


“Trailer Park” Rocks in a Raucous and Raunchy Romp

The opening night audience at “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” was instantly immersed into the grimy world of Armadillo Acres before the show even began.

Curtis Phillips and Jeff Brown’s outstanding scenic design of a run-down trailer park in a little Florida town provided the perfect ambiance for the seven actors to portray the wackiest of characters.

The Great American Trailer Park Musical set designed by Curtis Phillips and Jeff Brown. Photo submitted.

With a perfect replica of a travel Florida sign above, two realistic-looking trailers on each side of the stage, and ridiculous set decoration, complete with a toilet as a flower “pot,” the set is a character in and of itself.

Sasha’s Howell’s trashy costume design also clearly, from the first, established time, place, and characters’ personalities, with the actors rocking their ragged cut-offs, tank tops, t-shirts, glitz, and bright colors. Jamie Snyder’s makeup and hair design also hit the mark with colorful makeup and the intentional use of the rattiest of wigs.

Director Michael Kraklio shepherded his cast well through all the show’s sledgehammer comedy in a mash-up of a Jerry Springer show, “Hee-Haw,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” a "Saturday Night Live” skit, and a country music concert, “Trailer Park” is a raucous parody that is unashamedly raunchy, much to the audience’s delight.

Playing a Greek chorus who knows all and tells all, the trio of TJ Mayrand (Betty), Erin Blazevic (Lin), and Amber Burns (Pickles), were hysterical, having great fun singing of their own tales of woe and giving a dirty running commentary of the crazy goings on at Armadillo Acres.

Amber Burns, who also choreographed the show, filled in to play Pickle, just over a week before opening due to actress Rylee Kubera’s illnesss. Burns didn’t miss a beat showing her dancing chops and bringing her sassy character to life with her always adorable and identifiable voice.

The cast of The Great American Trailer Park Musical. Photo submitted.

As Jeannie, the agoraphobic wife, who hasn’t left her trailer in twenty years, Sara Marie Sorenson had some of the the evening's best vocals in “Owner of My Hear” and “That’s Why I Love My Man.” Sorenson’s portrayal is the most honest and sincere, playing a sweet and sympathetic character who can, however, show her fiery ire when her man does her wrong.

Bryan Burns as Jeanne’s husband Norbert, the beleaguered toll booth collector,

Is at the center of a love triangle, with his wife and a colorful newcomer to the park. Burns brings an earnestness to the role that is a touchstone for the events and intrigues that he manages to get himself embroiled in, without his taking time to realize the full impact off his actions.

Always using her powerful voice to blow the audience’s hair back, audience favorite Christina Stroup was eminently believable as Pippi, the stripper, and newest resident of Armadillo Acres, who gives the other residents plenty to gossip about. Stroup is at her best when playing these bigger-than-life roles, giving her ample chances to command every scene in which she appears.

Eric Elefson does comic double duty, donning a ridiculous flamingo costume, hilariously taking care of scene changes, and as the show’s villain, Duke, who makes his “dramatic” entry on a “motorcycle” in the aptly named song “Road Kill.” Elefson is convincing as a crazed lunatic, stalking his ex-girlfriend, who at an unexpected turn of events, helps the story end happily.

Is “Trailer Park” a masterpiece in the musical theatre genre? Decidedly no. Its humor is often over-the-top filfthy, its songs are pretty forgettable, and its irreverent satire of trailer park life is filled with stereotypical jabs at those who live on the wrong side of the tracks. Rather than the use of pre-recorded tracks, a small live band, dressed as “trailer trash,” would have made the show’s music tighter and more fun.

And yet, the audience came ready to be entertained and chortled heartily during the entire show. Some audience members were literally doubled over with laughter, even slapping their knees and throwing their heads back at some of the most audacious lines.

Two of the marks of a successful production are did the audience enjoy themselves and were they buying into the story and the characters, no matter how preposterous? “Trailer Park’s” appreciative opening night audience laughed uproariously, clapped loudly throughout, and rose to their feet at show’s end.

Mission accomplished.

Boat Club Production’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical”
Presented at the Spirit of the North Theater at Fitger’s. 600 East Superior St.
June 7-16, 2024

June 7-8 7:30 pm | June 9 2:00 pm
June 13-15 7:30 pm | June 16 2:00 pm
Tickets available at boatclubproductions.com
For more information, call 218- 623-7065

*Content Warning: Due to the mature nature of this production, it is not suitable for children.

Up next for Boat Club Productions, the thriller “Wait Until Dark,” running October 4-13.

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