Harp, Wlas To Star in RED, WHITE AND TUNA at Gaslight Dinner Theatre


Just in time for Independence Day celebrations, the Gaslight Dinner Theatre at The Renaissance Center in Dickson brings back the residents of tiny Tuna, Texas, with Pacer Harp returning in multiple roles in REd White & Tuna, running July 3-28. Previously, Harp (director of theater at The RenCen) has been seen in Greater Tuna and A Tuna Christmas.

Joining Harp onstage to bring the citizens of Tuna to life is Bryan J. Wlas, frequent director and choreographer for Gaslight Dinner Theatre shows and for The Renaissance Players.

 Set in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas; the "third-smallest" town in the state, the Tuna series of plays are an affectionate comment on small-town, Southern life and attitudes, as well as a sharp satire of such communities and typical townspeople. Red, White & Tuna is the third of the Tuna series, preceded by Greater Tuna and A Tuna Christmas, and followed by Tuna Does Vegas

All of the Tuna plays are written by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard, and are noteworthy due to the fact that two actors play the entire cast of eccentric characters of both genders and various ages. The original concept of Greater Tuna began as a party skit based on a political cartoon and soon became a critically acclaimed production that has entertained audiences across the globe for over three decades.  Williams and Sears regularly tour the country to perform all four plays, with Howard directing.

Red, White and Tuna, which debuted in 1998, takes audiences through another satirical ride into the hearts and minds of the polyester-clad citizens of Tuna, Texas. Along with Tuna's perennial favorites, some new Tuna denizens burst onto the scene of the 4th of July Tuna High School Class Reunion. This sets the stage for a show full of fireworks and fun from the land where the Lion's Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies.

Harp has acted in and/or directed over 50 productions at the center, and was most recently seen in the musical Church Basement Ladies in April/May, and in Mitch Albom’s Duck Hunter Shoots Angel this past December. Wlas recently directed the Renaissance Players production of Bye Bye Birdie and was last seen in Babes in Hollywood, The Music of Garland and Rooney. 

Directing Red, White & Tuna is Amy Scott, former Managing Director of the Renaissance Players Community Theatre. Over the past decade Scott has directed, costumed and appeared in many productions for The Gaslight Dinner Theatre, The Mind Enriching Theatre Series, and The Renaissance Players Community Theatre, including directing the Gaslight productions of A Greater Tuna and A Tuna Christmas. Taking on the very important and often hectic responsibilities of Wardrobe and Costuming for the production are both Scott and Rachel Gallup, who has provided Wardrobe for all of the Gaslight Dinner Theatre and Renaissance Players productions in 2011 and 2012.

Performances of Red, White & Tuna include Friday and Saturday evening shows (dinner at 6:30 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m.) and Tuesday and Thursday Matinee performances (lunch at 12 noon and show at 1 p.m.). Tickets are $37 for the dinner and show evening performance and $27 for lunch and show matinees. For tickets, call (615) 740-5600 or (888) 700-2300. Tickets are also available online at www.rcenter.org.


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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor outstanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, with The Larry Keeton Theatre's production of The Miss Firecracker Contest set for spring 2016.


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