Single Wide, the new musical at NYMF, does something that most of the musicals at NYMF have failed to do and that is make us know exactly who every character on that stage is and because of that we care. Like Hands on a Hard Body and The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Single Wide, is a musical with heart. With toe tapping music and lyrics by Jordan Kamalu and book and additional lyrics by George D. Nelson this is one well written musical. Mr. Kamalu’s score is contemporary country pop and I can easily see them becoming #1’s on the country radio hit parade. Mr. Kamalu has also managed to create an arc with the perfect blending of uptempo’s and ballads. “Microwave Life” is Katy’s moment of vulnerability. With such an emotional moment for the character, the lyrics Kamalu uses are a bit corny and unintentionally funny. By adjusting some of the words, he could change the title and story to “Single Wide Life” and turn this song into something historic.
Set in a trailer Katy (Emma Stratton) the young mother of ten-year-old Sam (Matthew Miner), is working her butt off to get her family out of this rut. Her mom (Stacia Fernandez) had her at sixteen and she had Sam at sixteen so she has laid off men for school and work for a better life. When Guy (Derek Carley), rents the newly abandon trailer, Sam latches onto him as the trailer park is female only. These strong females all have strong underlining stories that we actually leave wanting to know more. Flossie (Jacqueline Petroccia), the resident protagonist who thinks that only a man with money is her key out propels the finale.
There are moments in this show that tear you apart and make you remember that the bond between people is one of the most important moments in life. It is why Hallmark commercials always tug on our hearts. . First there is the bond between mother and child told in “”One for Me,” and “Just Takes One.”
George D. Nelson’s scrip examines the world most New Yorkers or most of America do not know. He creates strong relationships, realistic moments with depth and honesty and we care. What we consider “trailer trash” are real people stuck in a no win situation “Microwave Life.”
Emma Stratton brings strength and winsomeness that is strongly felt. Her vocals show this is an actress to watch. We truly want her and Guy to work out. Who is Derek Carley, and can we please see more of him? Talented actor, who keeps us wanting to know more with lush vocals. Jacqueline Petroccia shines as the floozy who is not so nice. Look for Matthew Miner to hit the great white way. For a New York debut he is a stand out. Stacia Fernandez does what we expect and brings it home.
Kudos to Jeff Whiting for bring out the best in his cast and making us want to see more, not less. Jason Ardizzone-West set makes New York apartments a relief with his shiny yet winning set.
This show needs to play Branson, Nashville and I root for its next step.
Single Wide: PTC Performance Space, 555 West 42nd Street 7/25 at 1pm