Drunk on Joy

Charles Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge has been retold countless times over, but never in tight, leather pants and a Miller Lite in hand. Montgomery Theater’s The Great American Christmas Park Musical is festive, corny, and shows off a stellar cast.            

Jenny Lee Stern stars as Darlene, Armadillo Acre’s Christmas Grinch and landlord to Betty, Linoleum, and Pickles. Barbara McCulloh heads the trio as Betty, the mobile community’s lead organizer in taking first prize in Florida’s trailer park Christmas decorating contest. Her sidekicks Pickles and Linoleum (Elena Camp and Sarah J. Gafgen) approach their parts in ditzy, slapstick style as the threesome schemes to turn Darlene’s barren trailer into a Christmas wonderland.

Shielding herself from her secret past and the emotional ware of the holidays, Darlene’s ripped “I Hate Christmas” T-shirt is a stark contrast to the holiday themed trailer of her arch nemesis, Rufus (the endearing Joseph Michael O’Brien).  After encountering a bout of amnesia, Darlene changes her tune and even the wants of her heart. Mayhem ensues as the group works to shield the newly jolly Darlene from her Scrooge-like past and the return of her tacky, entrepreneur boyfriend Jackson Bordeaux (played by the hysterical Bryan DeSanto).

Trailer Park’s colorful and ridiculously fun cast of characters light up the Montgomery Theater stage as their comedic timing plays off seamlessly to both actors and audiences alike. Jenny Lee Stern’s show stopping voice brings down the house with the musical’s pop styled score. In the midst of all the raucous, Stephen Casey directs a new and hilariously performed retelling of a Christmas classic (Ghost of Christmas Past and Ghost of Christmas Most Recently Past included). The Great American Christmas Park Musical is nothing like your mother’s Bing Crosby holiday musicals. Nonetheless, you are guaranteed to leave the Montgomery Theater drunk on joy. 

-Diana Allen

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