published Thursday, June 13th, 2013

'Trailer Park Musical': DLT's production is can't-turn-away-from fun (June 14-29)

The cast of “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” at the Dalton Little Theatre includes, front row, from left, Patricia Laschower (Pippi), Alana Sane (Lin), Tanner Blackton (Pickles) and Linda Dotson (Betty). In back are Jenny Lock (Jeannie) and Joey Parrot (Norbert).
The cast of “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” at the Dalton Little Theatre includes, front row, from left, Patricia Laschower (Pippi), Alana Sane (Lin), Tanner Blackton (Pickles) and Linda Dotson (Betty). In back are Jenny Lock (Jeannie) and Joey Parrot (Norbert).
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

What: "The Great American Trailer Park Musical"

When: 7 p.m. June 14-15, June 21-22, June 28-29; 2 p.m. June 23

Where: Dalton Little Theatre, 210 Pentz St., Dalton, Ga.

Admission: $15 adults, $12 seniors/DLT members, $10 students ages 13-18, $5 children ages 12-under

Phone: 706-226-6618

Website: daltonlittletheatre.com

If the words "trailer park" make you titter, if you didn't miss an episode of TLC's "Welcome to Myrtle Manor" this spring, if a musical about agoraphobia, adultery, '80s nostalgia, spray cheese, road kill, hysterical pregnancy, a broken chair, kleptomania, strippers, flan and disco sounds like a blast, drag a metal patio chair up to the Dalton Little Theatre.

"The Great American Trailer Park Musical," which opens Friday, June 14, for a three-weekend run at the theater, explores the relationships among the tenants at the Armadillo Acres Trailer Park in Starke, Fla.

While Starke is an actual town in North Florida, the trailer park is not. But the fictional place is worth a visit, says director Jerry Draper.

"It's a really fun show with lots of high-energy music," he says.

All's well in the exclusive trailer park until Pippi, a stripper on the run, comes between the Dr. Phil-loving, agoraphobic Jeannie and her tollbooth-collector husband. That's when the sandstorm kicks up.

Draper says the musical, written by David Nehls and Betsy Kelso, has comedy comparisons to "Sordid Lives" and "Daddy's Dyin' ... Who's Got the Will?"

"It's that kind of humor, those type of characters -- bigger than life," he says. "We try to make each [character] unique."

The songs won't be familiar, Draper says, but the selection "covers a lot of genres": rockabilly, ballads, a disco number and even a touch of the Andrews Sisters.

Draper says "The Buck Stops Here" is the first stripper number he's choreographed. Other enticing songs include "Flushed Down the Pipes," in which a character laments her marriage; "Road Kill" and "I Gotta Make Like a Nail (and Press on)," the finale.

One of the ballads may even "bring a tear to your eye," Draper sys. "That's one of the best things about it -- that it does have a wide range of emotions."

The musical has a seven-member cast, three of whom function as a Greek chorus -- almost narrators -- who help move the story along. They also play other parts.

Several other cast members, include one male, maneuver through three or four wig changes during different time periods in the show.

"The Great American Trailer Park Musical" has adult language and adult situations.

Contact staff writer Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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