Theatre — Greater Tuna

Acting Loft takes on Tuna

By Michelle Saturley

The Acting Loft isn’t just for kids. While the non-profit theater organization has made its mark in the community with its children’s productions and classes, it also produces shows for grownups. The Acting Loft’s version of the comedy hit Greater Tuna, its follow-up to the recent staging of The Rocky Horror Show.

One of the most popular modern comedies of the last 20 years, Greater Tuna takes place in Great Tuna, Texas — the third-smallest town in the Lone Star State. It’s the kind of place where “the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies.” The original show was so widely produced, the authors penned two more plays, A Tuna Christmas and Red, White and Tuna, both of which toured the world.

Written by Joe Sears, Jason Williams and Ed Howard, the script calls for the players to be versatile, because only two performers are on stage to portray the citizens that make up this town. That’s right: a cast of two actors plays the entire town — including men, women, children and animals. The show is loaded with political and cultural satire, poking fun at everyone with equal zeal, from rednecks to radio-talk-show hosts to members of the religious right. Characters include town busybody Vera Carp, crusading to ban “smut” like Romeo and Juliet from the town library for her own hilarious reasons, and animal-rights activist Petey Fisk, who explains why ducks have it so tough in today’s society.

Greater Tuna marks the return of Nashua-based actor Toby Paul and Nathan Barnes of Manchester, recently seen in productions of The Rocky Horror Show and Sweeney Todd. Leah Belanger directs the production.

Greater Tuna will be presented at the Police Athletic League Theatre, located at 401 Beech St., on Friday, Nov. 26  and Saturday, Nov. 27. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students. Seating is reserved. A limited number of cocktail tables that seat four are available. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. each night. To reserve tickets, call The Acting Loft box office at 666-5999.

—Michelle Saturley

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