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'Trailer Park Musical' is coming July 12-13

The cast of "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" includes (left to right) Paul Vonasek, Sadie Langemo, Ansley Cameron, Becca Kotte, Krista Costin, Ellery Tofte and Chris Hunt. Lakes area residents will have two opportunities to see the show at Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre, Sunday and Monday, July 12-13, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the Holmes Theatre box office. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)

"It's 'South Park' meets 'Desperate Housewives.'"

That's the one-sentence synopsis that director Rebecca Meyer-Larson uses when asked to describe the production her theater troupe will bring to the Historic Holmes Theatre on Sunday and Monday, July 12-13.

Larson, a native of Audubon, is at the helm of "The Great American Trailer Park Musical," a touring show that will be presented by Domres Theatricals in conjunction with the Northwest Water Carnival.

It will be the first show of the tour for a talented regional cast that includes Krista Kostin and Becca Kotte, who both grew up in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Also amongst the creative crew behind the production is Detroit Lakes native Susan (Steinhaus) Boyd, who provides public relations and advertising services for the show.

Though Larson admits the show might be described as "a guilty pleasure," she adds that it's "totally focused on the pleasure."

"It's madcap, zany, irreverent fun," she said.

But it's not for everyone, Larson added.

"This is not a family musical," she said. "It's a chance to get your friends together, go out and have a great time."

Larson also promises that audiences will "laugh hard and enjoy some really remarkable talent."

What makes this show so special, Kotte noted, is that while it provides all the elements of a traditional musical, it does so while poking fun at the same time.

"It incorporates a lot of musical styles -- rock, country, gospel, even disco," said Kostin, adding that there are elements that appeal to a wide range of people -- even those who might not normally enjoy musical theater.

In fact, Kotte noted, that's what makes it such a fun musical to do. "It makes fun of all the aspects you see in a typical musical production," she said, but at the same time, "it's a great script, with a great score -- there's a lot of good stuff to work with."

While the tone of the musical is irreverent and mocking, the music itself isn't; in fact, it's quite challenging for the actors to sing, Larson said.

"These people have lives, and feelings, we can identify with," Kotte added, discussing some of the reasons why the musical has been such a nationwide hit.

Betty, the owner of Armadillo Acres Trailer Park, and her friends Linoleum and Pickles, are amongst the colorful array of lovable characters that populate the show. The marriage of Jeanie and her toll booth collector husband, Norbert, could be in trouble when "stripper on the run" Pippi hits town.

"You'll like these characters, and want good things for them," Larson promises.

Besides being so likeable, she added, "they sing and dance too!"

"The Great American Trailer Park Musical" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday and Monday, July 12-13 at the Historic Holmes Theatre. Tickets are on sale at the box office, by calling 218-844-SHOW (7469), or by visiting

But if you can't catch the show in Detroit Lakes, there will be two more chances to see it before it moves out of the region. The musical will be presented at the Historic Fargo Theatre on July 16-18 (call 701-235-4152 for ticket information) or at the Empire in Grand Forks on July 23.

For more background information, you can check out the tour Web site at trailerparkmusicaltour.comor watch the show's ad on Youtube.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454