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BWW Reviews: THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL is a Sublimely Silly Evening

THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL is a two-act musical, written by David Nehls and Betsy Kelso. Set in the Armadillo Acres Trailer Park in Florida, it is a great big musical Valentine to trailer trash. The main story concerns Pippi, a stripper on the run, who comes between the agoraphobic Jeannie, and her tollbooth-collector husband Norbert.

You won't find any deep message waiting for you here in this tale narrated by the three trailer park residents Betty, Lin and Pickles; but you will find a lot of laughs, some great voices and a terrific evening of cartoonish, escapist fun.

The ensemble here is exceptionally strong. As the narrators, Betty, Lin and Pickles, Michelle Cheney, Jennifer Coy and Amanda Serra are all excellent with strong voices and wonderfully delineated characters. Each has her own moments to shine and they don't miss any of them. Wendy Zavaleta and Mark Bulter, as Jeannie & Norbert Garstecki, are charming. Taylor Moessinger as Pippi delivers a less cartoonish character and a big powerful voice that makes you really feel for her character. Chris Ehresman, as Duke, also delivers the goods musically, and boy, can he dance.

Director Jeff Hinkle has done a great job staging this funny little show, keeping the pacing fast and furious and the characters cartoonish and outrageous. David Blackburn, as always, delivers great musical performances from the cast and band. The choreography by Chris Ehresman, who also plays Duke, is a perfect combination of smart and silly. The costumes by Veronica Prior are delightfully tacky. James Jennings has also done an excellent job with the lighting with a few truly inspired moments.

If there is one negative, it is the acoustics in the Ground Floor Theatre. Converted from warehouse space, the room is very much live, sound wise. When the band and cast are going full blast, the sound becomes mush, and it become impossible to distinguish voices from instruments. This is only a problem in the big group moments, but it is a problem that needs to be addressed soon by some sort of acoustic paneling.

So if you are looking for an evening of great, grand escapist fun, go see THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL. Forget your troubles, come on, get trashy!

THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL Book by Betsy Kelso, Music by David Nehls

Running time: Approximately Two Hours with one intermission

THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL, produced by Austin Theatre Project, at Ground Floor Theatre (979 Springdale Rd, Austin, TX 78702) June 12 - 27, 2015. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 PM. Tickets: http://www.austintheatreproject.org/#!tickets/c1psf


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