Tonight I saw “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” at the Lycoming College Theater. I have not seen a play in a long time so it was good to get out of the house and do something special. I like to go out at night and tonight it was very warm outside.
I did not particularly want to see this musical and it turned out not to be very good. The sound design was the worse I’ve ever experienced with static, pops, and echo. That is not something I usually notice or care about but this was very amateurish. The singing was not that great either.
I also did not particularly care for the subject matter of this musical; trailer parks, redneck humor, and white trash. There are a few trailer homes across the street from my house which fit that stereotype. One of my neighbors has a beat up pickup truck and seems to make a living hauling scrap metal. It is always piled full of junk and blocks the street. There is definitely nothing attractive about white trash.
Nevertheless, this musical proves that you can make art out of anything. It was a celebration of trailer park culture and expressed the lifestyle in song, dance and humor. “The Great American Trailer Park Musical”comes close to elevating the mundane. It had a sort of Rocky Horror Picture Show quality but ultimately none of the characters were quirky enough to be endearing. I can’t imagine this musical will ever have a cult following.
The stage design was appropriately tacky and featured two trailer homes. The rooms would slide out of either trailer home to occupy the middle space but my view was blocked because I was sitting in the right wing of the theater. For example, there was a scene in a strip club with a pole that was slightly racy but my view was partially blocked. At one point a gun was shot and really startled the audience.
While I was watching the show, I reflected upon how we celebrate our culture. There does not seem to be much to appreciate in the crude lifestyle of the trailer park. This is not to say that trailer homes are not worthy of consideration. I can remember visiting some neighbor’s trailers homes when my parents needed a baby sitter and they have a certain charm, especially the kitchens which are like a submarine galley.