DSU to present musical; it's a comedy set in a trailer park
It’s a country-rock and blues musical about agoraphobia, adultery, 1980s nostalgia, strippers and disco. Titled “The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” the performance centers around a regular guy, Norbert and his agoraphobic wife, Jeannie, whose marriage is threatened by Armadillo Acres’ newcomer, the hot stripper Pippi.
Dickinson State University will present the musical at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 7-9 and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10 in Dorothy Stickney Auditorium.
“The story is based around the Garsteckis --a married couple who lives in a trailer park,” said Director Sarah Ramsey. “Nobert’s wife is agoraphobic ever since the tragedy of losing their son. He’s trying to get her to come out of the trailer for their 20th anniversary, but she’s not budging. Then Norbert meets the stripper, Pippi and they end up having an affair. A lot goes on as there’s three other girls living in the trailer park helping to tell the story.”
The action takes place in Armadillo Acres near Starke, Florida. The cast is led by DSU stage veterans Angie Reinoehl as Jeannie and Chris Prchal as Norbert. Pippi is portrayed by music major Julianne Skaff and her angry boyfriend, Duke, is brought to life by Tanner Bush. The cast is rounded out by a chorus of three ladies of the trailer park -- Bett, Lin and Pickles, acted by Jackie Hope, Presley Weiler and Rachael Solberg.
Meanwhile, Pippi has stirred up trouble elsewhere in Oklahoma City, where she had a moonlight fling and her ex-boyfriend Duke, is on the prowl to find her.
The play is directed by DSU senior theater major Sarah Ramsey. No stranger to the stage, she has brought her talents together for this show, which serves as her senior capstone project.
‘I’ve directed as a project back in high school and took a directing class where I directed a one-act play,” Ramsey said. “With directing, there are tough choices to make -- collaborations with other people -- the designers, costumers and makeup artists, but we don’t have that here -- it’s me and Jarvis Jahner (assistant professor of theater) going back and forth.”
Ramsey selected the play for audience appeal.
“I think a lot of people might find something to relate to in the show, and I picked it because of the area in which we live -- I think a lot of people will either find humor in it or relate to it.,” she said.
The music has a familiar feel to it.
“I think it’s the cast that makes the songs memorable -- we have music majors and music minors,” Ramsey said. “I really had hard decisions to make when casting the show. I was looking for singers as well as actors, and I think I got a good balance.”
However, the songs are largely unknown.
“I don’t think a lot of people, unless they’ve heard of it by some small chance, will be familiar with any of music. I remember after I hear ‘The Buck Stops Here,” I couldn’t get it out of my head,” Ramsey continued.
Chris Prchal describes the script and songs as hilarious.
“It’s all real good fun, very light-hearted,” he said. “I’d say the humor is easily understandable. It’s a very fun show and whips right along.”
Other cast comments -- “It’s super funny.” “It’s hilarious.” Sometimes I wake up with a song in my head.”
The musical is not suggested for children -- there’s some adult language and adult content.
Reservations can be made by visiting www.dsuarts.com or by coming to May Hall room 3 during regular business hours. For more information call 483-2154.