Producers Gary Schnell and Alex Ryer are uniquely qualified to stage The Great American Trailer Park Musical, which enjoys its Denver premiere tonight. The couple have a flair for music-oriented theater pieces, having earned plaudits for Pure Piaf, a one-woman show about French songbird Edith Piaf that starred Ryer. Moreover, Schnell notes, "our other business is buying and selling used mobile homes. So it was kind of a natural."
Schnell first caught Trailer Park at the 2004 New York Musical Theatre Festival and was instantly smitten. "It's the funniest musical I have ever seen, and I've seen a lot of them," he says, thanks to the blend of "redneck trailer-park humor and Southern rock and roll." David Nehls, the show's composer and lyricist, subsequently moved to Denver, and hes agreed to serve as the local production's musical director, overseeing a cast that includes Ryer, Robin Thompson, Sharon Kay White and other familiar faces. The set, meanwhile, will benefit immeasurably from Schnell and Ryers' day job. "It's built largely from used mobile-home parts," he points out. "We have a lot of contacts in the mobile-home business, and we've scrounged around and salvaged pieces from all over."
That's taking authenticity to a new level.
The Great American Trailer Park Musical runs at 7:30 p.m. at the New Denver Civic Theatre, 721 Santa Fe Drive through September 23. Performances take place nightly Thursday through Saturday, with matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $39.50, and group discounts are available. To learn more, phone 303-309-3773 or visit www.denvercivic.com.
Thursdays, Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Aug. 10. Continues through Nov. 18, 2007