Friday, October 4, 2013

Five Questions With: Randall Kenneth Jones, Norbert in "The Great American Trailer Park Musical"

Randall Kenneth Jones as Roger DeBris
in the Naples Players production
of "The Producers."
Randall Kenneth Jones will be familiar face to Naples audiences when he takes the stage as tollbooth collector Norbert in upcoming "The Great American Trailer Park Musical."

The Washington, D.C. transplant has appeared in shows with the Marco Players ("The Fourth Wall"), Shakespeare in Paradise ("A Midsummer Night's Dream") and both plays and musicals at the Naples Players. He had roles in "Annie," "The Producers" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." He also starred as David O. Selznick in "Gone With the Wind" send-up "Moonlight and Magnolias."

"The Great American Trailer Park Musical" visits a wrong-side-of-the-tracks community in Starke, Florida. Jones's character leaves (or does he?) his agoraphobic wife for a stripper named Pippi. Other inhabitants of the Armadillo Acres trailer park are named Linoleum and Pickles. There's a shootout. Someone sniffs Pam (the cooking spray - not the person). And THEN things get strange... (Read my review of the show from its run at the Off-Broadway Palm in April if you want a few spoilers)

Directed by Dawn Lebrecht Fornara, "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" includes Jessica Walck as Pippi, Debi Guthery as Betty, Lisa Frederico as Linoleum, Greg Jensen as Duke, Randall Jones as Norbert, Alyssa Lee as Pickles, and Laura Needle as Jeannie.

"The Great American Trailer Park Musical" runs Oct. 9 - Nov. 2 at the Naples Players. Tickets are $40. Call (239) 263-7990 or naplesplayers.org.

We caught up with Jones, but left the rest of the surprises in "Trailer Park," along with the cans of Natty Light and Hamms, in the cooler. You'll have to see the show to find out exactly who takes exactly what off at the Litter Box Show Palace.




1. Tell us about your favorite role to date.

Hands down, Roger DeBris in "The Producers" earlier this year. However, part of what made that experience so special was the extraordinary support of Mark Vanagas as Carmen Ghia. He is a JOY!

2. Describe your dream role. Which iconic song, monologue or moment do you want to perform?

NO HESTITATION: Marvin in "Falsettos." A few years ago I was lucky enough to get to know the original Marvin, Michael Rupert. Long before I met him, he was the Broadway star I most admired. Michael has seen me on stage and even he once commented he didn’t understand why I hadn’t played Marvin in "Falsettos" yet! Plus, the plot of that show is shockingly similar to my own life in so many respects.

3. Talk about the top song on your iTunes or Spotify right now? Why that song?

I’m old fashioned—I don’t use iTunes and have no idea what Spotify is!However, I sang with Sheryl Crow in college so I’m pretty obsessed with her new album. In the few times I have seen her over the years, she’s remained so “normal.” She’s absolutely still “Sheryl from college” and not the least bit pretentious. I’m extremely happy for her success. She deserves it.

4. What's the last thing you do immediately before you step onto the stage?

Seriously, I check my fly every time. And I mean EVERY TIME. (Over the years, this has proven to be a good practice too!)

5. What's next? Where are you headed and what are you looking forward to?

Before I moved from Washington, D.C. to Naples, I was actually known more for my skills as a director than as an actor. Having recently directed "The Taming of the Shrew" for Shakespeare in Paradise, I would really like to direct again in the near future.

In addition to acting, Jones also runs a creative communications agency, MindZoo. He launched a professional-courtesy initiative, RediscoverCourtesy.org and blogs about his leporiphobia at http://randallkennethjones.com/attackbunnies/.

Full Disclosure: Jones also writes "Business Class," a column for the Business section of the Daily News.

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