Old Town Actors Studio opened their summer show “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” with book by Betsy Kelso with Music and Lyrics by David Nehls. This is the type of musical that appeals to everyone, even those people who say they HATE musicals!
This musical follows the individuals who live at the Amodillo Acres (yes, it is spelled wrong for a reason). They are trying to prove the trailer park stereotypes are not valid. The main couple Jeannie and Norbert are going through issues including agoraphobia and a kidnapped child. They are heralded by Betty, Linoleum, Pickles, and Lou, who are the ‘chorus.’ Pippi comes and messes up the groove of the trailer park. She is being followed by her psycho ex, Duke.
The stage was impressively done. OTAS is a smaller theater which provides for some unique set designs. The musical set had different locations to deal with. The trailer that Jeannie cannot leave was designed with PVC pipes. The stage for the strip club was designed on the other side. The different doors allowed for numerous exits and entrances for the chorus and the main players. Bob Swanson did a fantastic job.
The costumes were great! The clothing was bright and vibrant and allowed for the actors to move around. Personally, I really liked Pippi’s red strip club outfit was fun because of the sequins and how it moved in the lights. The wigs were a great addition to the production. There were some mullet wigs which were hilarious.
There was a shout out to the Jerry Springer-esque talk show, which involved the chorus catcalling the main characters for their foibles. The audience laughed quite a bit! Personally my favorite line of the evening was, “Stripping is like an all you can eat waffle buffet, you know when you need to take a step back.” There are some quite hilarious lines.
The cast was well suited to this production. Betty was played by Tiffini Briscoe. Linoleum was played by Elissa Jones. Pickles was played by Brittany Hooper. Lou was played by Tracie Amend. Lynn was played by Trina Bonman. These ladies were the ‘chorus’ who did an amazing job bringing the story to life. Jeannie was played by Malia Kerr. Norbert was played by Bart Nawotniak. Pippi was played by Rani Choudhury. Duke was played by Porter Johnson. The main characters worked very well together and had real chemistry.
The Director was Sherri Dienstfry-Swanson. Jason Bartosic was the accompanist and music director. Lighting Design was Krista Draper. Stage manager and dresser was Bailey Brockett. Assistant Director and Hair/Makeup Stylist is Bailey Robison. Props Mistress and Dresser was Nicole Bissell. Bass Player is Alex Knudsen and Kathryn Chojnacki.
This production is definitely adult centered and not suitable for younger audiences. There are some adult themes which may bother some people. I highly recommend going to this production. It is hilarious and makes one think about how people are stereotyped.
Emily Thornton is currently working on her Masters in Communication at ISU. She enjoys writing, racing after her son and playing games with her husband.
If you go:
Old Town Actors Studio
June 24, 28, 29-(matinee and evening performance)
Doors open at 7 show begins at 7:30
Call 208-478-6886 to reserve your tickets (They are selling out quickly…don’t miss out on your opportunity.)