THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

Note: Entire Contents Copyright 2016 by Tony Annicone


Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Walpole Footlighters' first show of their 93rd season is "The Great American Trailer Park Musical", an adults only, funny but warm hearted musical comedy. In present day Florida, in a trailer park called "Armadillo Acres", Betty, Linoleum (named after the floor she was conceived on) and Pickles sun themselves with complete indifference to ozone depletion. They provide narration and commentary on the goings on in the trailer park. Ever hospitable, they set aside their sun reflectors to welcome the audience. "The Girls" also introduce Jeannie, agoraphobic and unable to set foot outside her trailer, much to the exasperation of her toll collector husband, Norbert. Her young baby had been kidnapped that's why she didn't want to leave her trailer. Just another day, nothing new, except for Pippi, a stripper-on-the-lam who arrives to stir up trouble on her five inch heels. She's running away from her gun toting, moronic boyfriend, Duke who likes to sniff magic markers. So saddle up to see what the rowdy residents are up to for a cat fightin', sun-worshippin', chair-throwin' good time. Director Marianne Phinney casts these wild and wacky roles splendidly and obtains marvelous performances from all of them. Think Mama's Family with dirty language thrown in.

Marianne directs and blocks the musical excellently and gives each of her performers their moment to shine in this show. Big numbers include the bawdy "This Side of the Tracks", is about Norbert and Jeannie's 20th Anniversary argument while "Storm's A-Brewin", is a wild and crazy version of "It's Raining Men" that has to be seen to be believed. Dan Moore is the musical director of these hilarious numbers that leave you laughing hysterically. The harmonies in this show are splendid and the vocal quality of the performers is astounding. Lisa Kelleher's choreography is wonderful to behold as these performers strut their stuff.The three wild and crazy gals are played by Kathleen Hardigan, Heather Vieira and Juli Small who sing in perfect harmony and are brilliant comediennes. Betty runs the trailer park and is a widow, Lin has a husband on death row while Pickles has a hysterical pregnancy. They are the Greek chorus moving in and out scenes as guys at a strip, three strippers named Amber, Pippi's friend, Tina who rats her out and a deer that gets run over. Brava!

Some sweet ballads include "That's Why I Love My Man" and "It Doesn't Take a Genius." The antics of the two couples has to be seen to enjoy it thoroughly. Tracey O'Farrell, Ken Golnar, Ashley Harmon and Kenneth Densmore play the roles of Jeannie, Norbert, Pippi and Duke. Tracey as Jeannie, gets to sing "This Side of the Tracks" and "Flushed Down the Pipes" while the duets with Ken as Norbert include "But He's Mine" and "Owner of My Heart." She is hilarious as this wall flower who suddenly blossoms near the end of the show with a cat fight and a secret revelation that brings her out of her stupor. He is very comical as the two women argue over who he belongs to. Ashley as Pippi sings "This Side of the Tracks" and "The Buck Stops Here" while Kenneth as Duke sings the very funny "Road Kill" while running over rabbits, cats and a deer. Ashley struts her stuff as the pole dancing stripper and is a hoot in this role. Duke also threatens everyone in sight with his gun. Duke gets his comeuppance in a surprising way which includes being threatened to become a vegetarian. His "Road Kill" song is reminiscent of "Greased Lightening" from "Grease." I reviewed him as Kenickie in that show last year. So for a rip roaring, good time with a country western flavor to it, be sure to catch "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" at Footlighters. It will leave you rolling in the aisles with laughter. A word of praise to Dan Sheehan for the storybook set that folded out to be changed with ease and to Kate Smith for the colorful and trashy costumes worn by the cast

Walpole Footlighters, 2 Scout Road, Walpole, MA
1(508)668-8446 or

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide