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Deep in the Heart of Tuna

a Comedy
by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears, and Ed Howard

COMPANY : Theatre in the Square [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Theatre in the Square [WEBSITE]
ID# 4830

SHOWING : December 13, 2015 - December 30, 2015



"Deep in the Heart of Tuna" offers wall-to-wall laughter, with all its healing power, as it takes us to Tuna, Texas, a town full of the most off-the-wall characters you’ve ever met and have always known. The whole town is played by two extraordinarily gifted actors/quick-change artists. This is truly the heart of Tuna and centers on the story of a single family, the Bumillers, and those ties that bind and those that don’t.

The year is 1982, the fall of that year when the town’s most renowned hanging judge is found dead in a women’s swimsuit, and on Christmas Eve, when all that is hidden is revealed.

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Slap-Dashing through the Show
by playgoer
Sunday, December 27, 2015
No programs, and no apology for not having them. Pre-show music blasted at a level painful to the ears. A halting, low-energy curtain speech. A set that appears to have been cobbled together from a previous Tuna production on the Alley Stage, with a raw wood 2x4 shim in plain sight. And then the show starts, and it gets worse.

Marietta’s New Theatre in the Square is presenting a version of the Tuna Christmas show that is a slap in the face to the memory of Tuna productions at the Old Theatre in the Square. Costumes are pretty good; sound and light effects are good, and well integrated with perfectly acceptable miming; but the energy level is so low and the pace is so slow that the whole thing plods along. The script is still full of eccentric characters and their hoot-out-loud sayings, but the actors don’t disappear into the characters. They put on costumes and make subtle changes to their voices and postures, but they don’t make the characters come to life. The audience seems to be split into those who will laugh with deep appreciation at the funny lines as they come along and those who leave at intermission.

With no programs and little publicity, it’s difficult to assign blame for the show’s deficiencies. There doesn’t even seem to be a stage manager who cleans up the stage during intermission, even though tree tinsel litters the stage. Maybe there was a director; maybe not. There’s definitely a light/sound technician and two actors (one who seemed to be battling a cold and line memory problems at the performance I attended), and it certainly seems that this is a minimally produced show -- a penny-ante production, if you will. Maybe with the sold-out audiences that have blessed "Deep in the Heart of Tuna" there’ll be enough profit to up the ante on future productions. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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