Low brow ‘Trailer Park’ comes to the Palace
Friday, January 11, 2013
BY GEORGE PELLETIER
MANCHESTER – Toe the poverty line with “The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” at the Palace Theatre on Jan. 11-26. From string cheese to road kill, follow the antics of the residents of the fictional Armadillo Acres.
Actress Jenna Kantor plays Betty, owner of the less-than-esteemed Starke, Florida, park.
“It’s about love and relationships, done the white trash way,” Kantor said. “There’s also an affair but it’s not just about the characters. It’s about the whole lifestyle, which is made fun of.”
For those with a penchant for all things tawdry, Kantor said, “Trailer Park” and its rehearsals have been “beyond fun.”
“There’s a lot of improvisation and it’s vulgar,” she said. “It’s white trash and we’re going for it. Vocally, you have to be a singer to do this show. I believe there is something like 14 musical numbers.”
This is not Kantor’s first foray at the Palace. The New York-based actress has played roles in “Chicago,” “Legally Blonde,” and “Lend Me A Tenor.”
“Well first of all, the Palace Theatre. But also, I saw this show years ago and I like all the characters,” Kantor said about what attracted her to this production. “And I chose this show because it allows me to perform outside my comfort zone.”
Meanwhile, Kantor adds different roles to the fold, playing a stripper and a disco dancer, to name two.
“I think that’s the trickiest part of the show,” she said. “I sing in a trio with other girls. We hump men in a strip bar. Switching from character to character is probably the most precarious part. And the key is making them different so we’re not the same person the whole time.”
Adding to the madness, with his professional panache, is director and Palace Theatre artistic director Carl Rajotte.
“He’s got so much insight with the way he directs,” Kantor said. “There’s always a real purpose in how we move and for everything that happens on stage. ... And if you ever get lost or stuck on a character, he’s good at giving a good route on how to discover it on your own without giving you too much or telling you exactly what to do.”
Kantor said for most folks, it’s fun to be trashy.
“Absolutely. I’m literally trying to look unattractive. And I think the audience will be surprised by the improvisation and how we interact with them.”
Up next, Kantor said she hopes to return to the Palace, but is leaving her fate to the casting directors.
Ultimately, she trusts audiences will walk away with a fresher approach to being white trash.
“I hope they feel very comfortable saying swear words and being disgusting and crazy,” she said. “I think they’ll feel very comfortable with behaving like that when they leave the ‘thee-ater’ because they will be quoting everything we say.”
The Palace Theatre is at 80 Hanover St., Manchester. Tickets are $15-$45 and are available through the box office at 668-5588.