Area residents who enjoy live theater will have the opportunity to catch a comedic musical when it debuts Friday.
"The Great American Trailer Park Musical," presented by Big Time Productions, will debut at 8 p.m. Friday at the Spire Theater. The show will continue on Saturday at 8 p.m., followed by two more performances on Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1, both at 8 p.m.
An off-Broadway production, the musical follows several characters who live in a Florida trailer park. Set in Starke, Fla., at the Armadillo Acres Trailer Park, the musical tells the story of high school sweethearts Norbert, played by Corey Osborne, and agoraphobic Jeannie, played by Cathy Covarrubias. The couple's nearly 20-year marriage is jeopardized when Pippi, played by Shannon Nixon, begins an affair with Norbert. Pippi's jealous boyfriend, Duke, played by Michael Taylor, travels to Starke from Oklahoma City in search of his runaway lover.
Armadillo Acres residents, Betty, played by Jamie Lee, Linoleum "Lin," played by Ylsa Giuffre, and Donna "Pickles," played by Jillianne Dolce Higgs, narrate the show with song in a traditional Greek theater style chorus. Accompanying the singing parts of the show is a live band, which features Barb Cybart on guitar, Sara Rafaloski on bass, David Reino on keys and Glenn Wahl on drums.
Angelo Giuffre, director, said he is grateful to present Jamestown with a show full of talented cast and enthusiastic team members.
"It's a fairly new off-Broadway show that premiered in 2005 and was such a huge hit in New York that it started going on tour," said Giuffre. "Local community theaters across the country started putting it on, and it became kind of a movement. It's a really fun upbeat show, and it's really funny, but there's a lot of relativity in it too. You can tell that the writers, Betsy Kelso and David Nehls, put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it."
Pictured above, from left, are Cathy Covarrubias, Jillianne Dolce Higgs, Ylsa Giuffre and Jamie Lee. Pictured at left are Shannon Nixon and Jillianne Dolce Higgs, rehearsing for “The Great American Trailer Park Musical.” In back is the accompanying band featuring Barb Cybart on guitar, Sara Rafaloski on bass, David Reino on keys and Glenn Wahl on drums.
P-J photos by Dusten Rader
Giuffre warns that the musical contains crude language, among other possibly offensive content, that could be unsuitable for children. Therefore parents should use discretion when considering bringing kids.
"When Joan Rivers came to town, if you're one of the people who stood up and walked out, then you might not want to come to this show," said Giuffre. "We knew that there would be some language being a trailer trash show - rednecks tend to swear. And, we legally cannot change the script. So, it's best to stick with what the author intended and make sure people are aware ahead of time. But, most of it can be said on network television."
According to Covarrubias, her character experienced a traumatic incident that caused her to become agoraphobic. Agoraphobia is characterized by intense fear and anxiety, especially in public places.
"What caused her to become agoraphobic is that her son was kidnapped," said Covarrubias. "Ever since then she hasn't been able to come out of her trailer. But, you can tell that she really wants to come out. Throughout the play you see her trying to break free from her house. After seeing the character, I think that people will have a better understanding of what agoraphobia means and how tough it is. But, they will also understand that love conquers all."
The show has been in production for more than three months. The sets featured in the musical were created by Giuffre and The Spire team. The show will feature 13 songs, and will run for nearly two hours with an intermission.
"It is a whole heck of a lot of fun," said Covarrubias. "There's great songs, great dancing, great acting and you can tell that everybody completely loves being on stage."
Tickets are $12 presale and $15 at the door. They are available at The Labyrinth Press Co. or by calling 450-7357. The Spire Theater is located at 317 E. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information visit spiretheater.org.