From generation to generation, comedy becomes a classic is when it is true. Comedy endures when it challenges the conventions of society. A comedy fails when it crosses the line and becomes mean spirited. One would think that a movie about corporate layoffs ("Up in the Air") and a stage play about trailer park living (The Great American Trailer Park Musical") would become snobbish, instead both comedies illuminate the human condition.
With "Up in the Air," Director Jason Reitman confronts the horror of being fired, yet by end of the movie (listen to the closing credits of this movie), one realizes that being fired is not really about about death and dying, but rebirth.
There is no rebirth in Starke, Florida, the city where the state executes convicted murderers. However there is a fictional trailer park called Armadillo Acres that houses every Florida Cracker stereotype; Norbert the tradesman (Stephen C. Anthony), his agoraphobic wife Jeanine (Margot Moreland) and his siren next door, Pippi (Kelly Atkins). "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" celebrates a niche in society that has more in common with "Hee Haw" and "Petticoat Junction" than it does the high society of Palm Beach and Coral Gables.
One has to drive to the Actor's Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre to see this live show, but it is worth the trek. With an original musical score, "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" has a touch of bluegrass, blues and an outrageous disco number involving hurricanes. The supporting cast, most notably Gwen Hollander and Meghan Coleen Moroney as the trailer park Greek Chorus, keep energy level high.
"The Great American Trailer Park Musical" is pure fun and succeeds by exposing the ticket buyer to a life beyond the stereotype. (For tickets, contact Actors' Playhouse Box Office: (305) 444-9293.)