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BWW Interview: Jaston Williams Talks THE WOLVERINE WALKS INTO A BAR's Grand Debut at The Grand 1894 Opera

Jaston Williams premieres his comedy A WOLVERINE WALKS INTO A BAR at The Grand 1894 Opera House this Saturday, July 16.

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Jaston Williams presents two performances of his brand new comedy A WOLVERINE WALKS INTO A BAR at The Grand 1894 Opera House this Saturday, July 16, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. The Houston icon, who also stars in the original play, joins screen actress Lauren Lane and Broadway veteran Kevin Bailey on the stage to portray some real characters (in the truest sense of the phrase). There is the Texan pacifist, the dowager who loves to sink a good ship, and a NRA-sympathizing grandma. (Yes, you heard right. Dear, sweet nana's got a gun.) Each scene is told by a different guest director. These guest directors are fictional characters too, played by Bailey, Linda Donahue, Kristin Rogers, and Robert Tolaro. And all the action happens inside one bar.



A WOLVERINE WALKS INTO A BAR is such an interesting title. Where did it come from?

Jaston Williams: Out of the air. It's a standard lead-in line to a joke and instead of a nun walks into a bar or a rabbi walks into a bar I wanted to go with a wolverine.

[Laughs] More important than where the title hails from- I guess- where does the humor come from in A WOLVERINE WALKS INTO A BAR? What makes it funny?

Jaston Williams: I lived in the French Quarter in New Orleans for 14 years so there is little material that I haven't come across. I have seen stuff others can't make up. [Laughs]

What sort of laughs should audiences expect? Wry smiles, chuckles, hahas, or bowled over lols?

Jaston Williams: All kinds I hope. This play has a lot of humor and a lot of heart and I hope it speaks to everyone in one way or another. We aren't as different as we think we are. At least I hope not.

It's hard to create a piece of entertainment that is both artistically complex and enjoyable. How are you pulling this off? How do you make sure the audience can follow along without struggling too much?

Jaston Williams: I hope that the humor will be the bridge. I believe that theatre should be theatrical and that we create something in this space that can't be enjoyed in any other format. Theatre is like athletics. It's hard work but needs to look easy. Sometime I think about how I could have been a lawyer and sued people from Monday through Friday, but lawyers aren't very funny and hopefully Laura and I are. [Laughs]

Jaston Williams is known nationally as the co-author, co-star and producer of the four award-winning plays in the Greater Tuna cycle. His performances have played on and off Broadway at the Kennedy Center, the Edinburgh International Arts Festival, the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. and all over America. His autobiographical play, I'M NOT LYING, was the first of his five solo shows - all receiving critical acclaim in performances across the country. The others are COWBOY NOISES, CAMPING WITH GASOLINE, BLAME IT ON VALENTINE, TEXAS, and his latest MAID MARIAN IN A STOLEN CAR.


Performances of A WOLVERINE WALKS INTO A BAR are 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. July 16 at The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice Street, Galveston Island. For information, please call 800-821-1894 or visit TheGrand.com.


Jaston Williams as Hildy Starkfincher from THE WOLVERINE WALKS INTO A BAR


Jaston Williams as Rusty Scribner from THE WOLVERINE WALKS INTO A BAR


Jaston Williams as Ronnie Hardcastle from THE WOLVERINE WALKS INTO A BAR


Jaston Williams as Hildy Starkfincher from THE WOLVERINE WALKS INTO A BAR



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