Rude, Crude and Obnoxious- And That’s The Way We Like It- As Stray Dog Delivers Delightful Trailer Trash

The trio of Kay Love, Kim Furlow and Jessica Tilgham wax rhapsodic on the joys of trailer park life in Stray Dog’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical.” Photo credit: John Lamb

“The Great American Trailer Park Musical” is no “Sound Of Music” and it’s definitely not what you think of when making lists of well known musicals, but you can’t ask for better entertainment than Stray Dog Theatre’s current production of what has to be the local premiere of the trash talkin’, off the wall show that would fit right in with the crowds who adore Maury and Jerry Springer.

Obviously  not for the faint of heart who cringe at four letter words, this musical gets down and dirty with implausible nonsense that makes for entertainment like you’ve never seen before. Kim Furlow, Artistic Director of Dramatic License Productions, moonlights at Stray Dog as the owner of the Armadillo Acres Trailer Park in Starke, Florida. She belts out the bouncy, sparkling David Nehls score with gusto and drops the great Betsy Kelso one-liners like a pro. It’s a delight to see her having so much fun on stage and it definitely carries through to an appreciative audience.

The first act finale of Stray Dog’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” brings disco back- even if it is trailer trash disco. Photo credit: John Lamb

Her cohorts include Kay Love as Lin (short for Linoleum, ’cause that’s where she was born) and Jessica Tilghman as the oft-hysterically pregnant Pickles. This trio act as a “Greek Chorus,” if you will who don several costumes to portray characters such as strip club studs and even roadkill victims like rabbits and deer (you have to see it to believe it). This threesome is the best thing on stage since the Kingston Trio.

Lindsey Jones and Zachary Stefaniak are a hoot as the feuding couple in the middle trailer. She’s an agoraphobiac who hasn’t stepped out in the fresh air for twenty years and he’s a sympathetic husband who tries to lure her out for their twentieth anniversary with a pair of tickets for the Ice Capades. When this fails, he turns to the new lady in town, a pole dancer named Pippi. Jamie Lynn Marble is a riot as the exotic dancer on the run from her abusive boyfriend.

That boyfriend, Duke, appears and Keith Parker, Jr. shines as the nutcase who suffers everything from road rage to an addiction to sniffing permanent markers- which he attaches as a bracelet to his wrist. Doesn’t sound like the story line to “Sound of Music” either, does it? It’s outlandish and the plot twists make you stretch your suspension of disbelief like a tightly wound rubber band, but it’s just so much fun that your gales of laughter tend to make your mind accept it all as gospel.

Kim Furlow, Kay Love and Jessica Tilgham become road kill for Keith Parker, Jr.’s road rage in “The Great American Trailer Park Musical.” Photo credit: John Lamb.

Director Justin Been serves it all up with proper tongue-in-cheek and is helped with a great set design by David Blake and lights from Tyler Duenow. Alexandra Scibetta Quigley’s costumes are first rate and the only complaint of the evening is the miking of the cast. It seemed to garble some of the dialogue and especially the lyrics. Of course, some of that had to do with laughter as it tended to drown out whatever came next. But small complaint for a show that gives us so much bang for our buck, if you’ll pardon the expression.

You’ll get a kick out of the specialty numbers, the great “Sally Jesse Raphael” take-off, the throbbing disco beat First Act finale and the wild and wacky show finale. This show has a little bit of everything- most of it, as I said, rude, crude and obnoxious- so sit back and enjoy the ride. Obviously, leave the kids home for this one- take them to see the other local production of the aforementioned “Sound of Music.” Then get them a babysitter and come see something that will get Mom and Dad past the hills of Austria and into the Armadillo Acres Trailer Park.

“The Great American Trailer Park Musical” is the last show of Stray Dog’s ninth season and their impressive tenth season is coming with another line-up of shows that will please. Visit their website at http://www.straydogtheatre.org for info on that new season and to order tickets for this one.

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