A Tuna Christmas, written by Jaston Williams, Jo Sears, and Ed Howard, and directed by Jaston William, is now playing at ZACH Theatre. But, if you plan to see it, leave your tendency to be easily offended at the door. If you have a thin skin, don’t take kindly to off-color jokes about…well…any of the sensitive topics most people today won’t touch, or if you don’t particularly appreciate the cultural ways of the stereotypical white, rural, gun-totin’, cigarette-smokin’, smack-talkin’, sandal-and-sock-wearin’, judgmental, self-righteous, American, just please, stay home.
A bit about Tuna: It’s the third smallest town in Texas where, according to the show description, “the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies!” The entire cast (some of the zaniest characters you’ll ever see — 25 in total) are played by only three actors, Ryan H. Bailey, Tim Casper, and Will Mercer. The three are truly gifted at becoming uniquely spot-on offensive but loveable, pitiable Tuna townsfolk.
The farce kicks off with an OKKK radio segment hosted by two of the town’s residents, Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie. And yes. You read that correctly. OKKK Radio. I mean, this is how the play starts! In between announcing the typical kinds of goings-on of small-town Texas, the hosts take turns heading to the restroom, taking pot shots at fellow residents, and even delivering special on-air messages to ex-wives along the lines of “if you can hear me, you’re too close!”
Vera Carp, the vice president of the Smut Snatchers of the New Order, is back with her signature style and pretentious flair, as is the portly Pearl Burras who spends the better half of the first act attempting to kill garden birds with a slingshot.
The tension in the play comes in the form of the Christmas Phantom who is wreaking havoc on the town because no one knows when he (or she) may pop up and ruin a holiday yard display.
Memorable characters also come in the form of an ungrateful, triflingly angsty teen, her quasi-hoodlum brother, and their mother Bertha Bumiller who, despite her chipper, Christmas-loving persona, evokes the audience’s deep sympathy.
soulciti suggests you ring in the holiday season with a trip to Tuna, Texas if for no other reason than to realize your family is downright aristocratic!
A Tuna Christmas is on stage nightly through December 31st. Tickets are available online.