Bringing out the trailer trash in you

By Karoline Czerski

One Yellow Rabbit just can’t keep its reputation straight-edged. From April 1-12, the Rabbits will let loose a one-man show on the Big Secret Theatre stage, and, quite frankly, they will stop at nothing less than to stir shit up–in drag at a trailer park.

Tornado Madness stars Darrin Hagen–Canada’s most notorious drag queen–in his self-written, self-performed rendition of the trailer park court. Naturally, he will portray Dotty Parsons, the head honcho of the park, who is also his mother, as she takes her audience through the trailer trash.

If you need to know, Dotty won’t be wearing high heels, because the trailer park woman is not characterized by showy glamour. Hagen is going to wear his own slippers.

“This is the first time that I won’t be killing my feet in high heels,” he says, relieved. Hagen has dressed in drag since he left the trailer park after high-school graduation, and today he is an award winning writer, composer, actor, TV host, and Canada’s premiere drag performer. Yet again, OYR subjects us to the “avant-garde.”

For Hagen, Tornado Madness is a tribute to growing up in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, in a trailer park community. A true Albertan soul, he is convinced that anyone from the prairies has a little bit of white trailer trash in them.

“It’s really an anthropological look at the trailer park community,” remarks Hagen, “where everything from the coffee you serve guests to the drapes on your windows, reveals something of your character.”

Who are we kidding; spam sandwiches and overalls are as familiar to us as baguettes and scarves are to the French. Tornado Magnet takes an intimate look at everything from trailer cuisine to trailer fashion to the mysterious, the unique, the “avant-garde” trailer-court man.

A tribute to the women that shaped Hagen’s childhood in the park, Tornado Magnet is a device to explore trailer park culture from a “different” point of view. The show is g-rated, and it has gotten a raving response from audiences across the wheat fields, even when 95 per cent of those who see it are heterosexual, middle-class city-dwellers with golden retrievers and SUVs.

Maybe it’s not as classy as Evita, and maybe you don’t admit to eating spam with your macaroni and cheese, but Tornado Magnet, whether you like it or not, will be an honest account of the trailer-park trash in all of us.

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