Chattanooga Now 'Trailer Park Musical': DLT's production is can't-turn-away-from fun (June 14-29)

Chattanooga Now 'Trailer Park Musical': DLT's production is can't-turn-away-from fun (June 14-29)

June 13th, 2013 by Clint Cooper in Chattanooga Now - Art

The cast of "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" at the Dalton Little Theatre includes, front row, from left, Patricia Laschower (Pippi), Alana Sane (Lin), Tanner Blackton (Pickles) and Linda Dotson (Betty). In back are Jenny Lock (Jeannie) and Joey Parrot (Norbert).

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.


What: "The Great American Trailer Park Musical"

When: 7 p.m. June 14-15, June 21-22, June 28-29; 2 p.m. June 23

Where: Dalton Little Theatre, 210 Pentz St., Dalton, Ga.

Admission: $15 adults, $12 seniors/DLT members, $10 students ages 13-18, $5 children ages 12-under

Phone: 706-226-6618


If the words "trailer park" make you titter, if you didn't miss an episode of TLC's "Welcome to Myrtle Manor" this spring, if a musical about agoraphobia, adultery, '80s nostalgia, spray cheese, road kill, hysterical pregnancy, a broken chair, kleptomania, strippers, flan and disco sounds like a blast, drag a metal patio chair up to the Dalton Little Theatre.

"The Great American Trailer Park Musical," which opens Friday, June 14, for a three-weekend run at the theater, explores the relationships among the tenants at the Armadillo Acres Trailer Park in Starke, Fla.

While Starke is an actual town in North Florida, the trailer park is not. But the fictional place is worth a visit, says director Jerry Draper.

"It's a really fun show with lots of high-energy music," he says.

All's well in the exclusive trailer park until Pippi, a stripper on the run, comes between the Dr. Phil-loving, agoraphobic Jeannie and her tollbooth-collector husband. That's when the sandstorm kicks up.

Draper says the musical, written by David Nehls and Betsy Kelso, has comedy comparisons to "Sordid Lives" and "Daddy's Dyin' ... Who's Got the Will?"

"It's that kind of humor, those type of characters -- bigger than life," he says. "We try to make each [character] unique."

The songs won't be familiar, Draper says, but the selection "covers a lot of genres": rockabilly, ballads, a disco number and even a touch of the Andrews Sisters.

Draper says "The Buck Stops Here" is the first stripper number he's choreographed. Other enticing songs include "Flushed Down the Pipes," in which a character laments her marriage; "Road Kill" and "I Gotta Make Like a Nail (and Press on)," the finale.

One of the ballads may even "bring a tear to your eye," Draper sys. "That's one of the best things about it -- that it does have a wide range of emotions."

The musical has a seven-member cast, three of whom function as a Greek chorus -- almost narrators -- who help move the story along. They also play other parts.

Several other cast members, include one male, maneuver through three or four wig changes during different time periods in the show.

"The Great American Trailer Park Musical" has adult language and adult situations.

Contact staff writer Clint Cooper at or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at