Theatre Oxford will present the holiday comedy A Tuna Christmas live at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center with four performances, December 13 through 14 at 7:30 p.m. and December 14 through 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets, which are $15 ($10 for Theatre Oxford members), can be purchased online at TheatreOxford.com.
Produced by Anne M. Klingen and directed by Inés Verdugo Joris with Mary Knight, the show stars Jaime Adams, Marjorie Buckley, William Chandler, Bill Dabney, Lester Ferrell, Anne Klingen, Chasity Nicole, and Sarah Stokes.
“I think folks will enjoy seeing their local friends ham it up, playing roles outside their normal realm,” says Buckley, who plays dual roles: Arles Struvey, a local radio man who is small of stature but big of heart, yet unlucky in love, and Dixie Deberry, an octogenarian who holds a tight rein on the town of Tuna’s finances as career city clerk.
In this sequel to Greater Tuna, it’s Christmas in the third smallest town in Texas. Radio station news personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie report on various Yuletide activities, including 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. Many colorful Tuna denizens join in the holiday fun.
“Tuna Christmas is an irreverent, politically incorrect, comedic look at small town life and how the spirit of Christmas affects everyone,” says Anne Klingen, producer of the show, who also plays the role of Didi Snavely, a chain-smoking used weapons dealer whose motto is “If we can’t kill it, it’s immortal!” Additionally, Klingen plays the role of Inita, an “aspiring career woman” who works alongside her best friend and fellow waitress Helen (played by Dabney) at Tuna’s local diner.
Adams, who starred in Theatre Oxford’s production of Steel Magnolias and who recently directed one of Theatre Oxford’s 10-Minute Plays, takes the stage as both Petey Fisk, accident-prone director of Tuna’s hometown Humane Society, and Vera Karp, the self-proclaimed queen of Tuna’s high society. Theatre Oxford veteran Ferrell tackles three roles: radio DJ Thurston Wheelis, the conniving octogenarian Pearl Burress, and Sheriff “Rubber Sheets”. Nicole returns to Theatre Oxford as the hardworking and headstrong Bertha – mother to Stokes’ three characters, Charlene, Jody, and Stanley. Nicole also plays bumbling Tuna citizen Lester. Chandler, last seen in the award-winning 10-minute play Bad Thing returns to the stage as both the flamboyant Joe Bob Lipsey, director of the Tuna town play, and as the brow-beaten, wife-fearing Leonard.
“We hope everyone can make it to the show,” Klingen says. “With cast members playing both male and female roles, this is going to be a rip roaring, side-splitting Christmas event!”
For more information, contact Bill Dabney at firstname.lastname@example.org or (662) 801-7489.
— Tad Wilkes, email@example.com