Saturday, September 20, 2014


Grab a beer or a mug of eggnog ( or as some term it Keg Nog), put some tinsel on your pink flamingo, and mosey over to Armadillo Acres for a rip-roaring holiday celebration. With a trio of archangels or wise women as your guides, Betty (Maureen Pollard), Lin, short for Linoleum (Shawn Rucker) and Pickles (Liz Swan), you'll be in good hands as you navigate your way to "The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical" lighting up trees and double wides at Norwich's Spirit of Broadway Theater until Sunday, October 5.

This is slightly X-rated holiday fare, filled like a Christmas stocking, with F-bombs and feisty folk who speak their minds in red and green spiked trailer park colorful speech. It's twelve days before Santa is due and the Florida trailer park fears its holiday curse is about to descend once again.  For the last dozen years, manager Betty has been writing letters to attract the magazine "Mobile Home and Garden" to judge their decorations to win a coveted $10,000 prize.

This year they are actually in the contest and every home is spotting the finest beer can doodads.  All is in readiness, except for the space owned by one member, Darlene, a true Grinch and Scrooge combined. Fortuitously, a funny thing happens to Darlene, a mean-spirited Jenn Rykowski, and she accidentally gives herself a giant jolt of electricity and awakens with a gift-wrapped case of amnesia.  As her next-door neighbor Rufus, a kindly Rob Grgach, attends to her, the trio of Betty, Lin and Pickles pray she won't recover too quickly.  As strange as it seems, an early Christmas miracle has occurred.  Darlene wakes up nice, with all her naughtiness shocked out of her.

Even when her bombastic boyfriend Jackie, a silver seguined Brett Bernardini swaggers in, Darlene has no memory of him or of her employment as a waitress at Stacks, the pancake joint he owns.  Will Armadillo Acres win the big money prize?  Will Darlene's amnesia last long enough to hold off the curse?  Will the gift she can't open until Christmas turn out to be Darlene's salvation?  Is a Merry Christmas destined to bring peace and good will?  Lisa Foss has found a jolly source of fun to make the musical by David Nehls, music, and Betsy Kelso, book and lyrics, merry and memorable, with Dan Brandl leading the band.

For tickets ($32), call the Spirit of Broadway Theater, 24 Chestnut Street, Norwich at 860-886-2378
or online at or Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Watch in October for a series of festive meals entitled "Night of 100 Dinners" all to benefit the theater with Jackie Roy in charge.
Call her if you'd like to host a dinner, cocktail party, picnic or whatever rings your bell.  Call her at 860-887-6975 or online at

Celebrate Christmas in September with garlands of red and green lights and a bottle of Bud and feel free to dress in your best trailer park garb.

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