Embassy Theatre Hosts The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical

Front & Centre Stage of Cumberland, Maryland is hosting The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical at the New Embassy Theatre in downtown Cumberland.  Show dates and times are December 4th – December 5th, 11th – 12th at 8 p.m. and December 6th and 13th at 2 p.m.  Music and lyrics are by David Nehls, and the book is by Betsy Kelso.  Tickets cost $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors.  Front & Centre Stage is a non-profit theatre company serving Allegany County and surrounding communities.  They produce several shows a year featuring performers of “all ages and walks of life.”

The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical is a sequel to The Great American Trailer Park Musical and a performance geared toward adult audiences as it includes adult situations and language and “casts doubts on the existence of Santa Claus.”  The musical follows the lives of tenants in Armadillo Acres, home of Starke.  Armadillo Acres is Florida’s most festive trailer park, and the tenants have been chosen to compete in the Mobile Home & Gardens annual Christmas decoration competition.  The prize of the competition: $10,000!  All tenants are on board for the decoration competition, except Christmas-hating Darlene Seward.

Known for its silly, ridiculous tone, the humor of the show has a few “What the hell? (in the best way possible)” moments, according to cast member and Frostburg State senior Aimee Conley.  When asked how the cast balances the inappropriate humor with the traditional, serious values of Christmas, Conley says, “there are some very serious parts in the show.”  She believes “the fine mixture of both really bring in the holiday spirit, because this time of the year is supposed to be very fun, but it can also be one of the most stressful times.”  The cast is now so used to and familiar with the jokes that when they hear the audience react, “we’re not tempted to laugh with them; which is good!”

Performing the role of Pickles, Conley’s most difficult task in the show is mastering her “country-twang accent.”  During the first read-thru of the show, she says, “I just felt stupid and that I didn’t sound country enough.  The more I talk in that particular accent, however, it gets more authentic.”  Pickles is a fun-loving girl who still has hope that Santa exists.  Conley describes her character as “so naïve, that it is almost impossible to not like her.  She’s just so precious. Her love for Christmas, along with her best friends Betty and Lin, help bring everyone together in the show.”

Front & Centre Stage’s director of The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical, Jordan D. Kline, chose this particular show because it “had [him] at ‘Spongebob Twelvejobs,’” which is a line from the show.  He knew the show was going to be “hilarious and a great way to celebrate the holidays.”  Although Conley is unsure whether Front & Centre Stage has plans to perform The Great American Trailer Park Musical in the future, the cast and crew are basking in the hilarity of the Christmas version of the show.  If they would, however, Conley says she would “definitely be on board!”

Conley’s favorite part of the musical is “working with such talented and genuinely good people.”  She says, “It’s one of the smallest casts I’ve worked with, but it’s been so wonderful working with each and every one of them, not to mention our awesome director and stage manager.  The entire experience has been very fun and enjoyable and I hope to do many more shows with these beautiful people.”

Tickets and event schedules are available online at www.frontandcentrestage.com.

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