The tradition of A Tuna Christmas, with its original stars and creators, Joe Sears and Jaston Williams, returns to Washington DC for a two-week run at the Warner Theatre Nov. 22-Dec. 3.
The daffy, quick-change comedy charts the 24 hours surrounding Christmas in small-town Tuna, TX, a fictional community first explored in Greater Tuna. The burg is billed as the state's third smallest town, "where the Lion's Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies."
With equal parts affection and satire, Sears and Williams skewer conservative thinking, provincial folks and the holidays.
This is the third time the popular yule comedy has appeared in DC,and the 11th season a chapter of the Tuna trilogy has played there. Tuna Christmas had a special engagement on Broadway in 1994 (earning Sears a Tony Award nomination), showing the actors off in no less than 24 roles, from Vera Carp ("Baptist extraordinaire") to Didi Snaveley (who owns a used-weapons shop).
Among the seasonal traumas in A Tuna Christmas is the appearance of a "Christmas phantom" who is thwarting the town's yard-decorating contest. What do yards look like in Tuna? Vera has life-size statues of Bing Crosby and Natalie Wood in her living nativity scene (complete with live sheep). Greater Tuna began as a party skit based on a political cartoon more than 19 years ago in Austin, TX, and became a mini industry in theatres around the country. There have been two sequels, including a Fourth of July-themed show called Red, White and Tuna.
Sears and Williams have been touring Tuna productions for 17 years. Their stage partnership has lasted 26 years. They first met and worked together at San Antonio's First Repertory Company, in a staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Designers for the 2000 staging are Loren Sherman (set), Linda Fisher (costumes), Root Choyce (lighting) and Ken Huncovsky (sound).
Producer Charles H. Duggan presents the Warner run.
For ticket information, call (202) 432-SEAT or (800) 551-SEAT.
After Washington, D.C., the Tuna Christmas tour goes to Chicago's Shubert Theatre (Dec. 5-17), Little Rock's Robinson Center Music Hall (Dec. 19-23), Nashville's TPAC Polk Theatre (Dec. 26-31), Austin's Paramount Theatre (Jan. 2-7, 2001), Galveston's Grand Opera House (Jan. 9-14)