Funky Little Theatre Co. revisits a motley crew of Texans

Get ready for a giant heaping of laughs at the shenanigans in Doublewide, Texas. Honky Tonk Hissy Fit plays through March 12 at the Funky Little Theatre Company in Colorado Springs. Community theatre at its best, this troupe delivers irreverent comedy and rich characters as the campy bumpkins of a mobile home park being stalked by corporate interests.

Honky Tonk is predictable, but who really wants dark and thoughtful anyway! The antics are clever and the staging in synch with the confines of a middle school gym with folding chairs. Or maybe it’s all part of the grand plan reflecting the raw charm as you’re transported to this tiny Texas hamlet and its gaggle of country folk in each other’s business 24/7.

Show-stopper Ashley Crockett resurrects her role as the colorful Caprice Crumpler in Funky’s sequel to Double Wide Texas Christmas from 2019.  In blingy jeans with platinum blonde curls cascading from her gawdy cowboy hat, she clearly rules the roost at the local watering hole, the Stumble Inn. There, she and her love interest Haywood (John Longo) play their regular game of cat and mouse between shots. Lamenting her long-lost days as a regional TV star in commercials, she flaunts her dance moves and drinks from two glasses of beer saying, “my doctor told me not to go anywhere without my glasses!”

Lacey Maynard plays Caprice’s daughter and the town’s mayor, Joveeta Crumpler, reining in her boisterous mother while now keeping a close eye on the new city slicker come to town. Harper Channing, played adeptly by Funky mainstay Krysten Whearley, is warming up to the local townies, and Joveeta is suspicious.

Gray Click reprises his role as Baby Crumpler, Joveeta’s younger brother, and is now the town’s unlikely sheriff. From wearing an evening gown to oafishly dancing his way across the stage, Baby can’t help but land in awkward situations. Clearly no authority figure, he is an endearing giant teddy bear who can’t say no.

Not all the Park’s residents are Crumplers — well not quite all of them anyway. Quintessential Texas matron Big Ethel (Barbara Summerville) is gifted fabulous lines which she delivers with unbridled zest. Brandi Blackwood Lowe plays Georgia Dean as the proud owner of Bronco Betty’s Buffeteria, channeling a Texas drawl and sashay that rivals that of a Houston debutante. She remains smitten with her high school boyfriend Nash (Nicholas Remy), who ran out on their engagement decades back. The two spar and jockey through a series of off-stage skits that up the campy antics of the play.

Helping in the café is Funky regular Anna Alai, who plays Lark, Nash’s daughter, and the exhausted mother of a 3-year-old — that is until she discovers coffee and believes herself to have superpowers in warp speed. More hilarity!

As Act One ends, we learn Joveeta’s suspicions are true: Harper Channing is looking to hoodwink the townies out of their homes and commercialize their little slice of trailer heaven.

Funky’s production staff excels at putting on a big show in a small space. The main scenes occur on stage in delightfully tacky doublewide replicas while the café and bar are simplistic off-stage sets that allow the actors to truly shine. Kudos to director Gerrie Walker-Champe from casting to costumes, sets and staging. The play would do well in a musical comedy genre with a little song-and-dance, but its tight script, fast action and clever storyline still maintain audience engagement.

By Act Two its apparent that every owner of a doublewide has signed the sales contract, except for Joveeta, who is determined to expose Harper’s duplicity. Finally, with the Trailer Park residents against her as Harper waves dollars in their faces, she finds a loophole and saves the town. Stability returns and even love prevails as Mayor Joveeta performs a dual ceremony finally marrying Georgia Dean and Nash, along with Caprice and Haywood.

Visit Doublewide, Texas. You’ll drive away giggling. Fortunately, making fun of rural country folk in Texas hasn’t been deemed racist — yet — especially in Colorado!