Mark Jancosek, musical director of Chicago Heights' Drama Group's "Great American Trailer Park Musical," hopes the moniker of their current production doesn't deter potential theatergoers.
"When you hear the title and read what it's about, you think you're pretty much going to see something like Jerry Springer put to music," he said. "Really, the point of the show is that it could take place anywhere. It could take place at a health club. It could take place at an office. Regardless of someone's environment, we're all the same people."
Opening Aug. 3 and running through Aug. 12 at Drama Group's Studio Theatre, "Trailer" is the tale of Norbert and Jeannie Garstecki, a long-married couple residing in a Florida trailer park. Their relationship, which has long been in a rut, is further agitated when Norbert meets and falls for Pippi, a stripper new to the community.
Narrated by a chorus of three songstresses and featuring the songs "That's Why I Love My Man," "This Side of the Tracks" and "Owner Of My Heart," "Trailer" made its debut off Broadway in 2005 and has been staged throughout the globe ever since.
"I think that it's good hearted irreverence," said "Trailer" director Stacy Louise. "It gives permission for everyone to come out and just laugh and enjoy some fun, bawdy, light–hearted humor. There's quippy, catchy lines in it that I think are just sweet, and actually, there's a huge heart to this show."
"It kind of deals with everyone's screw–ups in life," she added. "It kind of says that we all do dumb things and make mistakes, but it gives you a chance to rewind, to have a do–over, and in a comedic way."
David Chapleau from Tinley Park plays Norbert Garstecki and Cathie Drakulich from Park Forest plays Jeannie Garstecki in Drama Group's "Trailer." The pair is joined onstage by Valparaiso's Adrien Brizzolara as Pippi, Shawn A. Smith from Munster as Pippi's ex–boyfriend, Duke, and Chicago's Claire A. Smith, Hobart's Lara C. Heritage and Mokena's Peggy Ward as the shows singing narrators.
"There's no supporting roles in the show," Louise said. "It's very much an ensemble piece. Everybody's got solos and character development opportunities and back story."
Due to adult themes and language, "Trailer" is not recommended for young or sensitive viewers.
Next up for Drama Group is a production of another adult–geared musical comedy, "Avenue Q," scheduled to open at Drama Group's Studio Theatre on Oct. 5.