College of Fine Arts and Design

UCO Broadway Tonight Series Presents Oklahoma Premiere of 'The Great American Trailer Park Musical'

April 27, 2011trailer part musical

The University of Central Oklahoma's Broadway Tonight series celebrates the icon of American life known as the trailer park with some rowdy, funny, and over-the-edge melodrama in the Oklahoma premiere of "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" this May.                

The colorful, tart-tongued, musical comedy will run at 8 p.m., Friday, May 13; 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., Saturday, May 14; and at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 15 in Central's Mitchell Hall Theater.   

The production is a collaboration between UCO's Broadway Tonight series, the Music Theatre division of Central's School of Music, and Oklahoma CityRep Theatre.                  

The show's director Steven Smeltzer, also a music theater faculty member at Central, describes the show as a fun evening of incredible comedy and wonderful music.                 

"It catches you off guard and you find yourself laughing before your filter kicks in," he said, adding the show has a "Designing Woman," "Golden Girls" feel to it.                 

Set in Starke, Fla., in the Armadillo Acres trailer park, the story follows a cast of seven whose characters are larger than life, including the bleached-blond matriarch, the agoraphobic wife and her cheating husband, an exotic dancer on the run from Oklahoma City and her marker-sniffing, gun-toting ex-husband, a biker gal whose husband is on death row, and the pregnant Pickles, who is only hysterically so.                

"These are people who grew up in the 1980s and haven't left the 1980s," Smeltzer said.

"Think double-wide trailers, hot pants, spray cheese, pink flamingos, and tabloid TV talk shows...and as The New York Sun claimed--‘South Park' meets ‘Desperate Housewives.'"

Smeltzer said he knows these characters well since he grew up in central Florida.                

The show was first presented at the 2004 New York Musical Festival and opened off-Broadway in 2005.                   

Smeltzer took the show on the road nationally in 2006 and to the UK in 2008.                 

The cast includes four Central music theater students and three professional actors, "all with incredible voices and comic timing," Smeltzer said.                  

The Central students include Kassie Carroll, Kelli Cormack, Brandon Lonza, and Ally Ridley.  Professionals rounding out the cast include Barb Schoenhofer from Wichita, Kans., Oklahoma City favorite Renee Anderson, and Jim Johnson, guest artist from Dallas.               

The music and lyrics are written by David Nehls and the book is written by Betsy Kelso.      

Although Smeltzer said the show is not geared for young children, "we don't just play for the humor."                

"There is an honesty and warmth in these people, we learn about their struggles, and they are all looking for a better life," he said.  "We're not making fun...it's a homage."              

Musical numbers include: "Storm's A-Brewin," "This Side of the Tracks," "Road Kill," and "Flushed Down the Pipes," and "The Buck Stops Here."                

For tickets, call Central's Mitchell Hall box office at (405) 974-3375.