Rounding out the year for The Sarasota Players mainstage productions and ringing in the holiday season is our rendition of A Tuna Christmas, the hilarious sequel to Greater Tuna, the first in a series of four comedic plays each set in the fictional town of Tuna, the third-smallest town in Texas, and tells stories of its community in a way that fondly remarks on small-town, Southern life while satirizing at the same time.
The series is made up of four plays, A Tuna Christmas being the second after Greater Tuna, followed by Red, White and Tuna and finally, Tuna Does Vegas. All written by JastonWilliams, Joe Sears, and Ed Howard, the first debuted in Austin, TX in 1981 and later, premiered off-Broadway in 1982. A Tuna Christmas came along in 1989 where it was eventually performed in conjunction with Greater Tuna at the White House for President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush.
The performances of the original plays are significant in that two men played the entire large cast of characters, and two of the writers, Williams and Sears, often were the two men performing in them with the other writer, Ed Howard, in the director’s chair. Another feat of thisseries included the men regularly touring the country and performing all four plays until ending the tours in 2012. Both Sears and Williams were nominated for several awards for their work. Most notedly, Sears won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play in 1995.
In A Tuna Christmas, we’re back in the third-smallest town in Texas for Christmas time andRadio station news personalities, Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie, report on various Yuletide activities, including the hot competition in the annual lawn-display contest. In other news, voracious Joe Bob Lipsey’s production of A Christmas Carol is jeopardized by unpaid electric bills.
We cannot wait to share with audiences this tale’s eccentric cast of characters, many costumes, and it’s all around heartfelt, laugh-filled, and entertaining ongoings of the endearingtownspeople of Tuna, Texas.
The Sarasota Players’ performances of A Tuna Christmas begin Wednesday, November 29th, with showings throughout December, wrapping on the 17th. We hope you join in the fun and get in the holiday spirit with us!
For more information, all showtimes, and to purchase tickets, please visit https://theplayers.org/events-calendar/a-tuna-christmas/.
We have another production in store for this festive season later in the month! Don’t miss our Players Studio Holiday Special at our intimate Black Box theatre on Boulevard of the Arts,December 19-21, and stay tuned for a behind-the-scenes look at it in one of our upcoming blog posts!