BWW Review: A TUNA CHRISTMAS at The City Theatre
Welcome to Tuna, third - smallest town in the great state of Texas. I have been in love with it since my first visit in 1984 and it always feels like a return to the folks of my native Texan childhood. Never been to Tuna, Texas? Well I'm sorry and bless your heart, but fret not, even Yankees and foreigners enjoy visiting the fine residents of Tuna, Texas, especially at Christmas.
The tension is high this year what with the Christmas phantom on the prowl again and Bertha's husband still not home. The phantom is, however useful for someone - Didi Snavely, proprietor of "Didi's Used Weapons" is quickly running out of stock.
Director Robyn Conner imaginatively presents us with a sizable cast of 22 characters which is a substantial chunk of the total population of Tuna. Performing artists Rick Smith and Scot Friedman breathe life into these characters and their interpretations are simply sublime. Smith and Friedman have a unique take on the show, clearly love the characters as much as we do, and manage to make A Tuna Christmas everything you need it to be. The result is a magical Christmas experience with a sweet sense of nostalgia - theatre 'comfort food'.
Costumes from Christina Little-Manley are stellar and provide Smith and Friedman with some terrific extra tools for their acting kits. While absolute trust between cast and crew is of course essential for any theatrical production, it is absolutely crucial here. This is demanding, brutal work and I was pleased to see the crew included in the much - deserved standing ovation. The dress crew in particular have an enormous set of responsibilities to pull off a 'Tuna' production and they do not disappoint.
You do not want to miss this, the second installment of the Tuna Texas trilogy from Austin favorites Joe Sears, Jaston Williams and Ed Howard. This show sells out quickly, but don't give up! A stressful time of year, tickets for holiday shows often become available last minute, so keep trying.
Visit: http://www.citytheatreaustin.org/tickets.html for tickets - performances run through January 5th. The City Theatre is temporarily housed at the Trinity Street Theatre, fourth floor at 901 Trinity Street, Austin, Texas 78701 - near 11th.
And don't forget - The City Theatre is an Austin treasure, so if you're still looking for that perfect holiday gift, season tickets are a bargain.