BECKLEY, W.Va. — “Paradise Park,” the 1992 movie about life in a southern West Virginia trailer park, premieres on stage beginning Friday as a musical at Theatre West Virginia outside of Beckley.

The rights to the film were acquired by Theatre of West Virginia General Manager Scott Hill and he asked its original writer and director Danny Boyd to make it a musical. Boyd asked Larry Groce of “Mountain Stage” fame to write the songs.Groce said he ended up writing 11 new songs and several other musical pieces.

“I hadn’t written that many songs in a long time,” Groce told MetroNews. “But it was a little easier having promps where you were trying to use songs to try and forward the story. It wasn’t just making up a song but making up a song that had a purpose.”

The musical will be like the movie where an elderly lady who lives in the trailer park dreams that God is going to come to the trailer park and grant them a wish.

wvpublic.org

Larry Groce

“So you see some fantasies and you see some real life relationships,” Groce said. “The heart of the play is like the heart of the movie. It’s basically that West Virginians come together when times get difficult.”

The outdoor theatre that’s home to Theatre West Virginia is located at Grandview State Park near Beaver. TWV does the “Hatfields & McCoys” and “Honey in the Rock” there every year. Groce is hopeful “Paradise Park” can become just as popular.

“We hope that this just becomes another one of the musicals that are West Virginia-themed and maybe is continued to be shown in the future,” Groce said.

The musical begins Friday at 7:30 p.m. and continues through July 1. Theatre West Virginia is closed on Mondays.

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