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SpeakEasy Stage presents ‘The Great American Trailer Park Musical’ beginning April 30


Agoraphobia, adultery, spray cheese, road kill, hysterical pregnancy, kleptomania, flan and disco – these are just a few of the subjects covered in hit Off-Broadway musical comedy The Great American Trailer Park Musical, which will have its Boston-area premiere April 30-May 30, produced by SpeakEasy Stage Company.

Broadway actor David Benoit, a native of Fall River, Massachusetts, will join popular Boston actresses Leigh Barrett, Mary Callanan and Kerry A. Dowling for this over-the-top show, which focuses on the lives and loves of a North Florida trailer park community. Also featured in the cast are Boston Conservatory Master’s program graduate Caitlin Crosbie Doonan, recent Emerson alumnus Grant MacDermott, and Boston Conservatory student Santina Umbach.

SpeakEasy Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault will direct this local premiere, assisted by Nick Connell (music director/conductor) and David Connolly (choreography).

The Great American Trailer Park Musical features music and lyrics by David Nehls and a book by Betsy Kelso.

Mr. Nels has supplied music and lyrics for It’s A Wonderful Life, The Watercoolers, and Fishwrap. He has served as musical director both Off-Broadway and regionally, and can be heard on such recordings as BC/EFA’s “Carols for a Cure” 1998-2004, “Broadway Romances Manhattan”, and “White Trash Soul” with Rock-It Science Records.

Ms. Kelso provided additional comic material for the American production of the musical Girls’ Night, and was a founding member of the popular all-female sketch-comedy team Shirley Chickenpants She also performed improv and sketch comedy with Spilt Milk, and toured the US and Europe with Just For Laughs, A Day With Gates & Mills; and The Rocky Horror Show.

The Great American Trailer Park Musical will run for five weeks, April 30 – May 30, in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End.

Ticket prices range from $30-$54 with discounts for students and seniors. For tickets or more information, the public is invited to call 617-933-8600 or visit www.SpeakEasyStage.com.

The Great American Trailer Park Musical premiered at the New York Musical Theater Festival in 2004 and moved to its Off-Broadway home at Dodger Stages in September 2005. It starred Tony Award -Winner Shuler Hensley, Tony Award-Nominee Orfeh, and Theater World Award-Winner Linda Hart. It also earned a Drama Desk nomination for cast member Leslie Kritzer.

The show made its regional theater debut in Florida in 2006 at the Hippodrome State Theatre, where it is became the longest running and most attended show in the theater’s history (The Gainesville Sun). In 2009, it came back for an encore production.

The Great American Trailer Park Musical went on to tour nationally in 2008. In that same year it premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and then in Birmingham England.

For the Boston Premiere production of The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Paul Daigneault has assembled an impressive roster that includes:

Leigh Barrett (Jeannie) returns to SpeakEasy direct from the acclaimed production of Adding Machine: A Musical. At SpeakEasy: Passion (Fosca), Putting It Together, Back to Bacharach and David, A Class Act (Lucy-IRNE Award), Elegies, Songs for a New World, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Drood). Other local credits include including Indulgences, Dessa Rose, The Wild Party, Side By Side By Sondheim, Into the Woods, Ragtime, The Threepenny Opera and Sweeney Todd (New Rep); Grey Gardens, Souvenir, A Little Night Music and Sunday in the Park with George (Lyric Stage); and Marry Me A Little and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well… (Gloucester Stage. ) Leigh is the proud recipient of two Elliot Norton Awards.

Mary Callanan (Lin) has appeared in SpeakEasy’s award-winning productions of Bat Boy and Violet. Recent local credits include The Dinosaur Musical and A Year with Frog and Toad (Stoneham Theatre); Kiss Me, Kate (Lyric Stage); You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Gloucester Stage), and as Mme. Thenardier in Les Misérables (Ogunquit Playhouse). Mary was also in the long-running production of Menopause: The Musical at the Stuart Street Playhouse in Boston, where she also appeared in Respect: A Musical Journey. Mary has also been seen at North Shore Music Theatre in Damn Yankees and Letters from ‘Nam, and earned an IRNE nomination for her role as Hattie in Overture Production’s Follies starring Len Cariou. National: Cinderella (Queen), The Sound of Music (Frau Schmidt), Damn Yankees (Sister) and Big (Mrs. Baskin). Regional: Falsettos (Dr. Charlotte), Sweeney Todd (Mrs. Lovett), Sunday in the Park with George (Nurse), Chicago (Mama Morton), Violet (Old Lady), Late Nite Cathecism (Sister) and ALL the nuns in Nunsense I & II! As a Cabaret Fellow of the O’Neill Theatre Center, Mary has performed her cabarets in Boston, Provincetown and New York. Her debut CD with longtime collaborator Brian Patton, is entitled How I Spent My Summer Vacation.

Kerry A. Dowling (Betty) was recently honored with SpeakEasy’s Outstanding Artist Award at the company’s 2010 gala. SpeakEasy performances: Reckless; Jerry Springer – the Opera; The New Century; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Parade; The Women; Bat Boy: The Musical; Company (IRNE Award,); Elegies: A Song Cycle: A New Brain; Triumph of Love; Floyd Collins; A Class Act; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Putting It Together; Songs for a New World. Boston credits include Follies (Lyric Stage), Into the Woods, (New Rep), A Man of No Importance, (Súgán/SpeakEasy), Pal Joey (Stoneham Theatre), Gypsy, Anything Goes, and She Loves Me (Fiddlehead Theatre.) Kerry has performed with the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, and is featured on the recordings Oz and Beyond, and Razzle Dazzle.

David Benoit (Norbert) is delighted to make his SpeakEasy debut with Trailer Park and to come home and play with some old friends. Boston credits include: Forbidden Broadway, Forever Plaid (Sparky) and numerous regional productions. Recently, he appeared as Mr. Zero in the Studio Theatre’s production of Adding Machine: A Musical in Washington, D.C. for which he earned a Helen Hayes nomination for his performance. Broadway: Avenue Q (Nicky/Trekkie), Les Misérables, Dance of the Vampires. National Tours: Les Miz (Thenardier), Avenue Q, All Shook Up (Sheriff Earl). Off Broadway: Forbidden Broadway: 92; Forever Plaid; Forbidden Broadway: Summer Shock!; The Big Bang; Forbidden Hollywood (Chicago). David is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory.

The production team includes music direction by Nick Connell, choreography by David Connolly, scenic design by JennaMcFarland Lord, costumes by Seth Bodie, lighting design by Karen Perlow and sound design by Aaron Mack. The production stage manager is Katie Ailinger.

Compiled from the press release courtesy of the SpeakEasy Stage Company (website | profile | tag archive).

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