Monday, January 18, 2010

Actors' Playhouse: The Great American Trailer Park Musical (3 reviews)

Actors' Playhouse opened its production of The Great American Trailer Park Musical on January 15, 2010.
Called a mix between South Park and Desperate Housewives, this campy, sexy, bawdy, R-Rated musical fable is seasoned with murderous ex-boyfriends, Costco, the Ice Capades, and a stripper on the run who comes between a Dr. Phil-loving agoraphobic housewife and her toll-booth collector husband. With a chorus of trailer park divas residing in Armadillo Acres, an exclusive Florida mobile home community, this escapist, fun musical ranges across the American Radio dial from country to blues to rock to disco to bump n' grind to R&B. With music and lyrics by David Nehls and book by Bestey Kelso.
David Arisco directed a cast that included Stacy Schwartz, Margot Moreland, Stephen G. Anthony, Kelly Atkins, Meghan Moroney, Gwen Hollander and Christopher A. Kent.

Brandon K. Thorp reviewed for the Miami New Times:
When amplified by the talents of actors of the caliber of Margot Moreland and Kelly Atkins, Trailer Park's selective misanthropy could become the highlight of your week. I enjoyed the hell out of Moreland's interpretation of agoraphobia — the way her muscles seem at war with each other as she takes step by excruciating step from the safety of her doorframe. Atkins's pole dance defies gravity, and I doubt I've ever seen a performer be so slatternly and so likeable at the same time.
Christine Dolen reviewed for the Miami Herald:
Is it humanly possible to find more laughs (both deserved and cheap) in the show than Arisco and company have? Highly doubtful.
Though both its score and story are short on cleverness, the Actors' Playhouse version of The Great American Trailer Park Musical is greater than the sum of its parts because of the talent involved.
Moreland and Anthony find moments of wit and poignant touches in what would otherwise be two-dimensional characters. Moroney, Schwartz and Hollander are deft comic actors and dancers (the clever choreography is by Chrissi Ardito), and their blended voices sound killer under Eric Alsford's musical direction. Atkins' sympathetic Pippi becomes more than a sexy home wrecker (who happens to look great in Ellis Tillman's minimalist costumes), and her athletically impressive pole dance would be the envy of many a real strip club entertainer. Kent plays Duke with lunatic abandon, though he's a wee bit mature for the role, for reasons we won't reveal.
Michael Martin reviewed for
Kelly Atkins amazes as she slithers through an exotic pole dance while belting out "The Buck Stops Here", sometimes even hanging upside down while doing so.
Margot Moreland and Stephen G. Anthony share a special moment in "Owner of My Heart!", and prove why each owns more than one Carbonell Award for best performance.
Musical Director Eric Alsford evokes beautifully tight three-part harmonies from Moroney, Schwartz, and Hollander, and choreographer Chrissi Ardito creates a bit of fun with some plunger props in "Flushed Down the Pipes".
The Great American Trailer Park Musical plays at Actors' Playhouse through February 7, 2010.

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