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A TUNA CHRISTMAS

a Comedy
CATEGORY :
by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears, Ed Howard

COMPANY : Theatre in the Square [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Theatre In The Square:Alley Stage [WEBSITE]
ID# 3594

SHOWING : November 18, 2009 - January 03, 2010

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Ed Howard
Stage Manager Tristan Ludden
Scenic Designer John Thigpen
Arles, Didi, Vera, etc. Steven L. Hudson
Thurston, Bertha, Pearl, etc. Bill Murphey
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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There's a Ring of Gaudy Glitter in Texas
by Dedalus
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
4.5
Howdy, y’all! I sure do hope all y’all’re havin’ a sparkly delightful holiday season (I do! I do!).

Somethin’ that made my weekend shine a little bit more was another trip to Tuna, TX, just for the Halibut! I’ll be durned if Theatre in Square’s Alley Stage didn’t just put an ole Lone Star flag on its floor and plunk down two fine and dandy actors on top of it to play all the folks of Tuna TX. And I’ll be durned if the whole blamed thing doesn’t just wiggle along like a sidewinder dumped out of a tub of motor oil.

Now, if you haven’t heard by this time, “A Tuna Christmas” is the second in the popular “Tuna, Texas” series by Joe Sears, Jaston Williams, and Ed Howard. These plays are character portraits (if y’all will forgive a high-falutin’ phrase) of the residents of Tuna TX, in which pr’t’ near everyone (man, woman, child, and critter) are played by two actors (supported by what has to be a squadron of backstage dressers). These folks are silly and funny, but I’ll be durned if they don’t occasionally reach into my belly and tie a knot of somethin’ serious and pleasant. Granted, I do have a certain fondness for “Tuna Christmas,” since it was the first play I was paid to light (back when I was still in Yankee up in Pennsylvania), and I teched another production just last year it seems.

To recap some of the various stories happening on stage – well, let’s just say that the “Christmas Phantom” is on the loose sabotaging as many yard displays as possible, the Bumiller family is having a Blue Season, Vera Carp is going for her 15th Yard Display win, Didi Snavely’s husband RR is still chasing that flying saucer, and the lights are about to be turned off on the Community Theater’s production of “A Christmas Carol.” Which may be a good thing. In any case Radio Personalities Arles and Thurston have a piece to say about pr’t’ near everything and everybody (They do, they do!). Fans of the Tuna characters can expect this play to be as comfortable and aggravating as a visit to those distant relatives you’re not exactly sure you still like.

In this particular visit, all the too-many Christmas Trees that aggravated backstage folks have been reduced to just one, lit in different ways for different scenes, I’m not sure that was a good idea all the time, but for this play, most of the time sure as shootin’ counts.

Now, on to the beef of the matter, Steve L. Hudson and William S. Murphey give two dozen of the best performances of the year. Mr. Hudson is very convincing in all the lady parts he visits, and Mr. Murphey finds laughs in the most movin’ scenes and finds a flicker of feeling in the most silly scenes. These two work together like grits and beans, and never even raise a sweat in their many costume switcheroos. They make it look easy.

Some fancy Yankee writers say the Tuna plays make the characters look foolish and silly, and true Texans should oughta hate ‘em. I’m inclined to see the sparks of folks I really know in all of ‘em, and laugh at the all the eccentricities that can be ugly if they weren’t so funny.

So, all I can say to all y’all is you would do yourselves a favor by moseyin’ on over to the Alley Stage in Marietta GA (a big city by Tuna standards, I reckon), and visit with some folks you may (or may not) have visited before.

You’ll have a fine time, y’hear?

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)


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