Review: THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL is charmingly trashy at Lyric Stage

 The Great American 
Trailer Park Musical

Music & Lyrics By David Nehls

Book By Betsy Kelso
Directed/Choreographed by Brandon Mason

Produced by Lyric Stage

Ever spent time in a trailer park before? Regardless the answer, you’re in for a treat if you decide to wander down to Lyric Stage and check out their very own little slice of trailer park heaven – The Great American Trailer Park Musical! Everything has been thought through from the moment you walk in the front door. Be sure to pick up a hotdog and cold drink at the concession stand to really set the mood – a drink and food item are included with your ticket purchase.

Inside the little black box theater – which is tucked down a road lined with industrial buildings – scenic designer and props coordinator Spencer Meador has nailed every detail. Between two rundown trailer homes, there’s a tetherball that’s been tightly wound around its pole, a speed bump, and three camp chairs. A little smoke coming off the highway, satellite dish up on one roof, lights strung across the sky, and a John Deere peeking out from around the corner.

Trailer Park starts off with a high energy number that succinctly introduces the audience to the zany cast of characters. The three chairs at center are occupied by the Girls of the park: Betty, the leader of the pack, rocking some Peg Bundy hair (Samantha Padilla); Linoleum, named after where she was born – they call her Lin for short (Cara Serber); and Pickles, a girl who goes around pretending she’s pregnant and is more sunshine and smiles than brains (Pamela Anglero). They are all equipped with foil lined pizza boxes for that perfect Florida trailer park tan! With vocal chops to spare and excellent timing, these three continue to entertain and delight throughout the show. 

As the Girls educate us on “This Side of the Tracks,” we find out that Armadillo Acres is also home to Jeannie and Norbert (played by Mary Gilbreath Grim and Greg Hullett, respectively), a couple who is about to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary – if only Jeannie would get over her agoraphobia and leave the trailer so they could attend the Ice Capades! But complications arise when a new girl – Pippi (Alena Cardenez), a stripper on the run from her nasty ex-boyfriend (Ben Ashcroft) left behind in Oklahoma – shows up and complicates things for everyone. 

Trailer Park is a raunchy, funny, boisterous breath of fresh air. The songs are catchy, the story is fun and entertaining, and this cast and crew did a phenomenal job of sharing the story, keeping the audience in fits of laughter, and coming up with fun surprises left and right. Director and choreographer Brandon Mason has put together an incredible cast and given them the guidance to entertain and impress. Costumes by Breianna Bairrington and Wig Design by Michael B. Moore really bring the characters to life. This one’s sure to be popular – get your tickets while you can!  The Great American Trailer Park Musical runs Thurs-Saturday through October 14th at the Lyric Stage on Quaker Street. 

Support live theater!

Sara Jones

Audience Rating: R, language, sexual innuendo, violence
Running Time: 2 hours 10 minutes, including 15 minute intermission
Accessible Seating: Available
Hearing Devices: Not Available
Sensory Friendly Performance: Not Available
Production Sound Level: Comfortable Sound Level
Noises or Visuals to Prepare for: Lightning flashes, electrical flashes, gunshot
Production Sound Level: Comfortable Volume
ASL Performance: Not Available