Theatre Mirror Reviews-"The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical"

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entire contents copyright 2014 by Tony Annicone

"The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical"

A Review by Tony Annicone

The Little Theatre of Fall River's show at the Firebarn is the New England premiere of "The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical" with music and lyrics by David Nehls and book by Betsy Kelso. It's Christmas time at Armadillo Acres;North Florida's premier mobile home community and everyone is filled with visions of joy and kegnog. A sequel to  "The Great American Trailer Park Musical", you'll meet old and new characters in the same crazy place in some crazy situations with a holiday twist. Some of the new residents include Darlene (the neighborhood Scrooge), Jackie, her boyfriend and Rufus(a redneck with a heart of gold). Longtime Armadillo Acres residents Betty, Lin and Pickles are back with voices as big as their hair, but when a freak accident hits Darlene, everyone's Christmas cheer will be put to the test. Saddle up and jingle your bells to Little Theater to catch up with the rowdy residents of the trailer park for a cat-fightin', sun-worshippin', chair-throwin' good ole festive musical time. Bobby Perry wears three hats for this show, directing, music directing and choreographing this risque and hilarious Christmas musical that will keep you in stitches all night long. The show proves your heart should be full of Christmas all year long.

Bobby does a marvelous job with the show and also plays keyboards. Not only are the melodies of the songs catchy but the lyrics are incredibly funny, too. Think "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer". Not only that but the one liners, puns and jokes are also topnotch. Bobby cast six marvelous performers to play these madcap roles and they all have terrific voices, too. He gives each of them their moment to shine. The gals from the original Trailer Park Musical are back, Betty, Linoleum and Pickles played excellently by Pamela Morgan, Susan Fortes-Couitt and Stefani Lawton. Betty is the manager of the trailer park, Lin's husband just got executed in prison so she wears his ashes near her boobs and Pickles is a single mother who finds out her baby was a different color from her boyfriend and she also falls asleep standing up. They sing three part harmony in several songs sounding like Southern Andrews Sisters especially in "12 Days of Amnesia", "Leather Love Christmas, and "There Will Always Be Christmas Next Year". You have to witness their antics because there are so many laugh out loud moments in this show. They also play waitresses in the song with Jackie.

The new characters are as hilarious as the original and do a stupendous job, too. Scrooge like Darlene played by Kelly Morrell sings "Christmas is for Dummies" and refuses to decorate her trailer saying they are dumber than a bag of dicks. When she gets zapped by pulling out a light cord, Darlene sings a different tune "My Favorite Time of the Year." Later on Kelly sings the poignant "My Christmas Tin Toy Boy" about her best gift from years ago. She is visited by Christmas Past, Christmas Near Past and her motorcycle boyfriend played by Stef, Sue and Pam. Another tear jerking number is when she realizes the true spirit of the season in "Heart Full of Christmas" with the whole cast joining in with their tender memories of yesteryear.

Jeff Belanger plays chauvinistic Jackie who is dressed like Elvis and sings I'll Be Your Santa Claus" because he is a self made man and owns a breastaurant called Stacks which sells pancakes that look like boobs. He threatens to tear down the trailer park. Romantic lead Rufus played by Ryan Durkay sings about decorating with flamingos on the lawn and mirror balls in the window for Christmas in the opening number and his Gospel ballad is "Black and Blue on Christmas" where his girlfriend beat the crap out of him on Christmas Eve. This song stops the show with hilarity. Also funny is when Ryan rides Jeff like a bucking bronco to stop him from choking Pickles as well as when they dress up like shanks in "Christmas Leather Love". One of the funniest songs is "Fuck It, It's Christmas" which the cast sings to close out Act 1 where they lament their failed lives and the serious problems they face and the final song is "Trailer Park Christmastime" where the audience discovers what happens to these wild and crazy folks. I don't want to give away too much of what happens to ruin it for the audience. So for a fun filled, fantastic evening of song and dance that will definitely get you into the holiday spirit, be sure to catch "The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical" where you will be sore from laughing all night long.

"The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical" (4 - 14 December)
@ 340 Prospect Street, FALL RIVER MA

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide