‘Trailer Park’ classy but trashy

Heather Croyl

“Oh my gosh, that was one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen!” exclaimed one audience member immediately following the opening night performance of “The Great American Trailer Park Musical.” The show ran April 5-7 in Pipe Dreams Theater with a total of five performances.

The storyline depicts a love triangle between a married couple, still torn from the loss of their child, and an exotic dancer escaping an obsessive ex-boyfriend. Set in a Florida trailer park, this musical takes the classic story of infidelity and uses the setting to create comedy gold.

Director Wade Tischhauser said that he had to “tackle the stereotypes” of trailer park living in this show.  However, this does not mean that the show is offensive. As audience member Ben Locke explained, “It shows the humorous side of living in America.”

Beyond the difficulty of representing trailer park culture, this musical showcased the performers’ skills in acting, dancing and, most of all, singing.  Tischhauser said, “This show is vocally driven. The girls who narrate the story are constantly on stage and singing in tight three part harmony.”

Cast member Kyle Holt also commented on the vocal skill of the female cast members saying, “The women are amazing. It’s worth seeing [the show] just for them.”

Besides Holt and the female trio played by Lauren Snyder, Jamie Shriner and Emmy Burns, other cast members included Charlotte Fox, Emily Padilla and Kyle Bennett.

With high levels of talent needed, Tischhauser went through a tough casing process in order to ensure a strong cast. Although rehearsals began in February, this cast had the unique difficulty of having both spring and Easter break to deal with. Tischhauser thankfully said, “It didn’t move us backwards.”

Despite these difficulties, the cast came together and pulled off strong performances that pleased the crowd tremendously.  Unfortunately, there were many technical difficulties that served to distract the audience from the overall experience. It was obvious that not enough time and effort went into the construction of the set. With the awkward painting, strange angles and unmatched line – it was quite an eyesore.

Additionally, the lighting created a distraction. At one point, an actor sang in the dark with no spot light. That’s a complete fail in performance etiquette.

However the greatest distraction to me as an audience member was the crew running set changes. Two of the crew wore country attire – short shorts, and button up shirts – while the third wore black boots, tight pants and a black jacket. The lack of uniformity simply took away from the “professional” look that the cast portrayed.
In the end, we have the cast to thank for putting on an amazing show. Each member was right on the mark. They were truly trashy, but classy.