It’s only fitting I sit here with my wife-beater on as I write this.
Coincidentally it was the same outfit I had on when I trekked up to Kensington to check out Kensington Arts Theatre‘s production of The Great American Trailer Park Musical. I thought it would be fun to dress up and enjoy a show that sounded like it was going to be… quite trashy. I mean with a title like that, you aren’t expecting suspenseful drama.
I was happy to see I wasn’t the only one in costume as I walked in.
KAT truly transformed their space to fit the atmosphere of the show, from the beer cans and beach chairs scattered about to the hour dourves (Pringles and spray can cheese) that was served by the Choreographer (Catherine Oh) who was in bathrobe and curlers.
It was trailer park class I could belive in.
I noticed other audience members were in costume as the show got underway, creating a fun environment to enjoy the show. A show which I was already enjoying well into their first number, “This Side of the Tracks.”
Director Evan Hoffmann brought out all the cliches, stereotypes, and redneck jokes that makes Trailer Park such an entertaining show. The whole performance is a well executed, fast paced romp that is sure to keep you laughing all night. Be sure to keep your ears open, the show is full of clever lines and entendres that makes Trailer Park such a well written piece.
Malinda Ellerman as Jeannie Garstecki is absolutely adorable and performs with energy and passion as the agoraphobic wife of Norbert Garstecki (Patrick McMahan.) In usual white trash fashion, Norbert is caught between his panic stricken wife and his new neighbor, Pippi (Jennifer Lambert), a sultry stripper who is on the run from her crazy ex-boyfriend Duke (John P. Loughney.) The show goes through so many twists and turns you’ll feel like you are on an episode of Jerry Springer… which the show quickly points out in the number “The Great American TV Show.”
The entire tale is told through a trio of storytellers (Kat Brais, Katie McManus, and Jaclyn Young) who also get their moment to shine through impressions, side jokes, and solos. The three almost steal the show with their antics and reminded me of a redneck version of The Supremes.
Rounding out the ensemble are Darnell Morris and Mark Hidalgo who play rather silent, but by no means unforgettable roles. Pay special attention to them towards the end of the show.
Besides serving the hour dourves, Catherine Oh has also done a fine job with the Choreography- making creative usage of toilet brushes in the Flushed Down the Pipes number. (A choreography side note, I was personally delighted to see a brief homage to Beyonce during one of the numbers. You’ll have to go watch to see what I’m talking about.)
If you need something to do this weekend I highly endorse escaping the city life of DC and checking out The Great American Trailer Park Musical, it will be a performance you are going to walk out loving.
The Great American Trailer Park Musical
Kensington Arts Theatre
3710 Mitchell Street
Kensington, MD 20895
May 21, 22, 23 (8 PM show)
Adult $20/Students & Seniors $17/Children & Residents $13