With Greater Tuna a regional mainstay and A Tuna Christmas already a holiday tradition, Ed Howard, Jaston Williams and Joe Sears have concocted a third installment about life in the strangest Texas town this side of Horton Foote's Waxahatchee and Sam Shepard's Paris.
Dallas journalist Rita Faye Smith reports (in the Late Winter "This Month ON STAGE magazine") that Red, White And Tuna will have its premiere March 31 in Baltimore. After running there to April 5, further dates include Galveston, TX (April 7-19), Houston, TX (April 21-26), Washington DC (April 28-May 3), Austin, TX (May 5-June 7), San Antonio, TX (June 9-14) and Fort Worth, TX (June 16-July 5).
Williams explained to Smith that the idea for Greater Tuna came about in 1981 and grew out of a party skit in Austin. "We had a friend in Austin who gave great parties and always invited lots of theatre people and would ask us to perform, so we went upstairs and created this impromptu skit. We knew from the reaction it was good enough to go in a cabaret setting." The show later reached Austin's Trans Act Theatre and Off-Broadway's Circle-In-The-Square. The sequel, A Tuna Christmas, opened on Broadway in 1994 and earned a 1995 best actor Tony nomination for Sears.
Says Jim McQueen, of the Greater Tuna Corporation, the latest Tuna show takes place at a class reunion of all the usual Tuna characters -- plus a couple of new ones.
For further fishing on the various Tunas, check out the show's website: http://www.greatertuna.com -- which offers videos of the first two Tunas, signed scripts and posters, and other merchandise. -- By David Lefkowitz