Up From The Streets New Orleans The City Of Music "Tuna Does Vegas" – A Make-Believe Town Out of Its Element

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"Tuna Does Vegas" – A Make-Believe Town Out of Its Element

Tuna Does Vegas turns the award-winning tuna trilogy into four. Directed by Big Tuna Corporation of Austin, Texas, this is the latest from actors/playwrights Joe Sears, Justin Williams and their co-writer Ed Howard. Williams and Sears, the fastest backstage costume team, portray more than two dozen characters in witty parodies.

In 1981, The Big Tuna, their first guffaw-inducing tour in the third-smallest town in Texas, brought audiences from tears to laughter in the streets. There was nothing better than a look back at the quirky townspeople and their holiday preparations for “A Tuna Christmas.”

After that show’s 1994 Broadway run, for which Sears received a Tony nomination for Best Actor, the cast reunited to celebrate the Fourth of July in “Red, White, and Tuna,” a slightly messy affair with potato salad left in the sun. a bit too long. Along the way, Sears earned a Helen Hayes nomination for Best Actress, while Williams took home the San Francisco Bay Area Critics’ Choice Award and LA. Drama Award.

The Tuna residents plan to travel to Las Vegas with OKKK disc jockey Arles Struvey and his apple pie American housewife Bertha Bumiller to exchange vows at the Sin City Wedding Chapel. Among the motley but charming vacationers are Christian Vera Karp, gun-wielding Didi Snavely, reform school graduate Stanley Bumiller, minor theater director Joe Bob Lipsey, Tastee Kreme waitresses Inita Goodwin, and Helen Bedd.

Landing in Vegas after a bumpy flight, Sears and Williams hit the Strip with their swashbucklers, soon scraping several unsavory ghosts at the glitzy hotels and gaming tables, among them the Minnesota Fats-like gambler Scot. , the magical Anna Konda, the ubiquitous Elvis impersonators, and glamorous showgirls.

In contrast to Sears’ handsome characters, Williams, who portrays the handsome members of the group, justifies taking the townspeople out of their comfort zones because they want to spend more time with the tuna and show them how to grow and handle themselves. unfamiliar situation. He prepared himself by taking many research trips to Vegas, and he quickly noticed that the people on the plane going there had a different vibe than most travelers. It was likened to people going to New Orleans, concluding that they were looking forward to “going and loosening up with America and the rest of the world.” In contrast, the return flight is sad; they can’t wait to go home.

To make the story real, he and Howard beat up all the wedding chapels and were surprised by the serious and respectful staff. They expected that when the couple arrived, someone would put out a cigarette and say in a harsh voice, “Come here”; Instead, everyone was professional, helpful, and even suggested different popular wedding styles, like the Blue Hawaiian Period, that appealed to them.

During the polls in Vegas, Williams had fun seeing things he couldn’t make up himself. His vivid impression of the unique environment weaves its way throughout the novel. One is a massive church that overlooks the Hooters restaurant directly across the street when the large doors are opened to disperse the congregation. At the Luxor Hotel, she sits on a bench with professional bridal tattoos, drags on a cigarette, and drops her bouquet at her feet.

Although his son Vera Karpa is the least likable of all his characters, Williams sees him as the perfect foil to mock the Moral Majority. A trip to Las Vegas is an opportunity to see how he and the townspeople behave in unfamiliar situations. Didi takes the opportunity to attend a gun show, while Joe Bob reads a book by Anna Conda, a psychic who has traveled to every state except Utah for fear of polygamy. Charlene Bumiller, Bertha’s daughter and aspiring child actress, takes the stage in the show’s most stunning costume.

“It’s a fun thing,” Williams said. “The second act is absolute madness, but the finale is a reminiscence of Bertha and Arles. They have made the world their own, and their relationship is at the heart of the play. Like all couples, they love each other and struggle, but they survive. This is American is our approach to family.”

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