THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK CHRISTMAS MUSICAL – Music and Lyrics by David Nehls; Book by Betsy Kelso; Directed by Piper Arpan. Produced by Miners Alley Playhouse (1100 Miners Alley, Golden) through December 31. Tickets available at 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com.
What a treat! A Brand-New Musical by old reliable David Nehls in a Brand-New Theatre in lovely downtown Golden. A word or two about the new space Miners has been working on so diligently. The hard work has paid off. It’s a quietly elegant space with a large welcoming facade. An immense box office is right inside the door with room for several people to be working simultaneously to welcome patrons as they come to a show. To your left is a beautifully stocked and arranged bar and an area for mingling while to your right is a small seating area, the rest rooms and a coat rack.
Entering the theatre, you are on house right with the seats in three (right, center and left) sections. Only about six or seven rows so the stairs are minimal (that’s important to old folk like me) and the seats are comfortable. Finish your drink before you go in, however, no cup holders. The playing space is spacious and tall. It doesn’t seem to have a lot of backstage or wing space, but that may be deceptive. There was, at least, room enough for a trailer park represented by two almost life-size hand-built trailer units.
The show brought back three of the lead characters and actresses playing them from the original GATPM – Betty (Julia Tobey), who is the manager of the park and the leader of the pack; Linoleum (Preston Adams), still smart mouthed and mourning her husband recently executed at the nearby prison; and Pickles (Jenna Moll Reyes), now pushing the baby carriage from her “hysterical” pregnancy. They are all still the best of bad-mouth friends with pithy views on the world around them and gossip about everyone.
They are joined by Darlene (Leiney Rigg), another resident who, as the result of an electrical accident, turns anti-Christmas despite the efforts of Rufus (Nick Rigg Johnson), her ho-ho-ho happy neighbor, to cheer her up and change her mind. Throw in Damon Guerrasio as the villainous Jackie Boudreux, the actual owner of the trailer park who is ready to sell the whole kit and kaboodle and evict everyone and you’ve got a full deck of cards. Move over, Scrooge, Jackie’s back in town!! Of course, because it’s a musical comedy, a romance has to bloom between the antagonists and there must be a happy ending. That’s all you get in terms of clues to the plot. You want more – go buy a ticket.
The cast performed admirably and with such confidence that you’d never predict the show had never been done before. They were all full of smart-ass energy; David wrote great lyrics and bouncy music for them to perform. The dialogue was full of down-home humor that kept the audience in stitches all the way through. To add the cherry on top of this Christmas Sundae, the composer himself led the four-piece band situated on top of the trailers. Director Piper Lindsay Arpan kept the good times rolling and the audience laughing.
For a not-so-Christmas-like evening out for adults, here’s your ticket.
A WOW factor of 8.5!!