Fringe review: ‘The Great American Trailer Park Musical,’ TheaterWorks Florida, Davenport, FL
By Elizabeth Maupin
Clearly there’s an audience for The Great American Trailer Park Musical. The big Saturday-night crowd all around me was ready to party, and most of them laughed heartily all the way through. Which leads to the fact that I was definitely in the minority, but the lowest-common-denominator humor, ear-shattering music and general lack of acting finesse made me want to slit my wrists.
Begin with the fact that the sound for Trailer Park is turned up so loud that I was holding my ears a lot of the time (and whenever one particularly shrieky cast member came forth, I knew to put my fingers in my ears ahead of time). Just about everybody in the seven-member cast has an enormous voice, but they’re miked to high heaven, and it doesn’t help that most of them don’t bother to articulate. The result sounds like mush; only Michelle Burroughs, as the trailer-bound agoraphobic Jeannie, is understandable all of the time.
It also doesn’t help that most of the cast members aren’t especially adept actors, and that director Scott A. Cook hasn’t drawn anything but generic redneck from them. Sam Little is the only performer who gets across any personality, and he’s funny as the fierce, no-good Duke.
Everybody in Florida likes making fun of trailer trash, and GATPM has been a hit elsewhere – although I have to say that the people in this show are pretty easy targets. Too bad TheaterWorks Florida didn’t turn down the volume and concentrate on details like character and speech. You can probably paint a painting with a backhoe, but I’d rather see it done with a brush.
Remaining shows: 6 p.m. Wednesday 5/26, 8:10 p.m. Friday 5/28, 11:20 p.m. Saturday 5/29, 7:30 p.m. Sunday 5/30. Silver venue.