Tunes and cheek in “The Great American Trailer Park Musical”

Sue Steele (centre) plays Betty, owner of the trailer park; Krista Roberts (right) is 'Lin,' and Jordan Brennan is Pickles. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

WINCHESTER — The Great American Trailer Park Musical brings loads of laughs and memorable music to the Old Town Hall this Friday — and it has absolutely nothing to do with a certain Canadian TV show.

“So many people have said, ‘Oh, Trailer Park Boys,'” says Terry Green, director of the Dundas County Players’ (DCP) latest upcoming production, quickly dismissing any similarity between the “cheeky” PG-13 play and the foul-mouthed, “borderline obscene” televised series. The play also sets itself apart by being, as the name indicates, a musical comedy — and one skewed toward female characters who outnumber their male counterparts 5-2.

“I wanted to do a musical, and I knew we would have many more female singers come out to audition than male,” explains Green.  The local amateur theatre troupe’s first musical production in four years also fit the bill by featuring a small cast.” My wife actually Googled ‘small cast musical mostly women,’ and this one came up,” chuckles the Winchester resident, who was impressed by the script for the 2003 off-Broadway title. “I said, ‘This is a very funny show, but I had never heard of it…. I just thought it was great.”

The story centers on Norbert, a regular guy, his agoraphobic wife, Jeannie, and the hilarious mayhem the ensues with a new arrival at their North Florida trailer park. Breaking down the “fourth wall,” a Greek-chorus-like trio of women — one of the director’s favourite features of the play — connects the audience to the antics on stage, interacting with those in their seats and narrating the quirky and dysfunctional lives of “Armadillo Acres.”

Green and musical director Colleen Howard last collaborated on DCP’s previous musical, Pump Boys and Dinettes, in 2013. Along with choreographer Jacquelyn Toupin and the talented cast of seven, they’ve been working tirelessly for months to bring The Great American Trailer Park Musical to life. The play features Sue Steele as Betty, owner of the trailer park; Krista Roberts as Lin (short for Linoleum, in honour of her birth on a kitchen floor), good friend of Betty and wife of a husband on death row; Jordan Brennan as Pickles, suffering from hysterical pregnancy and the third in the trio of women; Mike Bonner as ‘regular guy” and toll-collector Norbert; Sandra Mcneill as Norbert’s agoraphobic wife, Jeannie; Darlene Hall-Barrett as runaway stripper Pippi; and Dylan Roberts as Pippi’s jealous ex-boyfriend, Duke.

For Roberts, the show marks a return to being directed by Green, his former drama teacher at North Dundas District High School. Now retired, the educator once cast him in the high school’s production of Grease.

The new play features a four-piece band, spectacular set filled with real trailers and trailer parts, hilarious dance routines, and impressive musical chops from the cast.

“If you like your pink flamingos plastic and your humour raunchy, The Great American Trailer Park Musical is right up your double-wide,” playfully teases the tagline for the adults-only comedy. The show opens Friday, Nov. 3 and runs weekend dates until Nov. 12 at Winchester’s Old Town Hall.

The metaphorical curtain rises Nov. 3 on the Dundas County Players Theatrical Society’s latest production, The Great American Trailer Park Musical. Here’s a sneak peek at one of the numbers performed during a recent rehearsal at Winchester’s Old Town Hall.




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