Entertainment » Theatre

Lust ’n’ Rust: The Trailer Park Musical

by Gil Kaan
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Apr 5, 2011
Scott Dean, Joyanna Crouse and Sal Cecere in Lust ’n’ Rust
Scott Dean, Joyanna Crouse and Sal Cecere in Lust ’n’ Rust  (Source: Dorrie Braun)

Upon entering the theatre, your eyes will be wonderfully assaulted by Allan Jensen's very tacky, colorful set of a trailer park courtyard. Within minutes of the first scene, one of the trailer facades smoothly rolls open to reveal the innards of Smitty's Diner with all the basics of a very low-end coffee shop. Nice!

Lust 'n Rust opens with Steve, a corporate 'prawn' (yes, with an 'r') sent to a little one-industry town to "re-organize" it. As played by Sal Cecere, the stiff corporate Steve is not totally a fish out-of-water when he rents a trailer in the midst of the workers he has to supervise.

Steve's distraction to his task is Smitty's cute waitress Connie who just happens to live in the same trailer park Steve's renting at.

Joyanna Crouse's Connie is perky and beyond the stereotypical dumb trailer park gal as she can hold an intelligent conversation on stock trading with newbie Steve.

The trailer park, the Redbud Mobile Estates, is managed by Red, enthusiastically over-the-top limed by Ward Edmondson.

The rest of the dissidents of Redbud Mobile include Connie's just recently ex, comically portrayed with much stage presence by Derek Long; a nonsensical Mary Kay saleswoman played wackily by Leann Donovan; a beautician played with spunk by Becky Birdsong.

The standouts in the cast are the actors performing as a trio of former high school friends. First and foremost -the plus-sized Tanya, in her short shorts and heels or revealing lingerie, as played by Terra Taylor, tugs at your heart strings in her anticipation for her second, er, first honeymoon in 'Venus' (you know where they had gondolas!). She nails every laugh line in the play. Taylor also has the best and strongest voice in the cast.

Her two cohorts in their delicious scene-stealing are Scott Dean as Tanya's husband Junior and Josh Evans as Junior's best friend and the guy Tanya isn't "technically cheating" with.

For the rest of the group, the singing is serviceable on the country-tinged songs. Maybe because of her placement sitting on the stage floor, Crouse's vocals were not projecting to the fourth row of the audience. Maybe because the songs were in the wrong key for Long and Birdsong, neither of their songs took off as they should.
The trailer park ensemble choreography by Josh Brodis is handled best by the scene-stealing trio.

One doesn't go to a musical set in a trailer park expecting sophistication or subtlety, just trashy fun. Would have liked the rest of the ensemble to go as outrageously far as Edmundson and the scene-stealing trio of Taylor, Dean and Evans in this community theatre version of an intended off-Broadway bound musical.

Performances through April 30, 2011 atThe Lyric Theatre, 520 N. La Brea Ave. Los Angeles. Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm; with added Sunday performances April 17 & 24 @ 7pm. For tickets, www.brownpapertickets.com/event/144372, www.Goldstar.com or by calling (626) 695-8283.

Gil Kaan
Gil Kaan, a West Hollywood-based freelance journalist, has contributed to media outlets including Genre, Frontiers, Dot Newsmagazine, ReelGay.com, and WestHollywood.com


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