"The Great American Trailer Park Musical 

Theatre on the Square

Directed by Ron Spencer

Through Sept. 23

It seems the Fringe Festival started a week early: Theatre on the Square kicked off the 2006-2007 theater season with a zany, off-the-wall musical that is hysterical. Since TOTS is also a Fringe venue, this show will complement the unusual Fringe offerings, which begin this weekend.

The Great American Trailer Park Musical is a celebration and parody of all things trailer-life and stage musical. Think Bat Boy, because the characters could have stepped straight out of the tabloids. In fact, one dream-sequence has them in a Jerry Springer-esque setting.

First we meet Betty, Lin and Pickles (Jeannie Logan, Vickie Cornelius and Rebecca McConnell), who narrate the story — sort of a white trash Greek chorus. While each of them has her own strange story, the action concentrates on Jeannie (Juli Inskeep), an agoraphobic, and her husband Norbert (Darrin Gowan), a toll collector. When ex-stripper Pippi (Niki Hurrie Warner) blows into Armadillo Acres trailer park, on the run from her marker-sniffing boyfriend Duke (Justin Ivan Brown), a love triangle of daytime TV proportions begins.

Director and choreographer Ron Spencer, along with vocal director Logan and music director Ray Lahrman, do everything right here. While the music, including a live orchestra perched atop a pink trailer, and the vocal prowess of the singers is top-notch, Spencer also throws in well-paced direction and jokes that keep the audience alert. Watch for babies falling from the sky, a cameo by Michael Jackson and much, much more.

The entire cast is spot-on with vocal work and choreography. The set, designed by Spencer and James Trofatter, and the costumes, by Steven R. Hollenbeck, are pitch-perfect as well.

While Fringing, leave some time and money to catch this crazy musical. You will be glad you did.

The Great American Trailer Park Musical continues through Sept. 23 at TOTS, 627 Massachusetts Ave. Tickets are $25. For reservations, call 317-685-TOTS.



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