SELINSGROVE - It's Christmas in the third smallest town in Texas. Radio station OKKK news personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie are reporting on various Yuletide activities in Tuna, Texas, including hot competition in the annual lawn display contest. In other news, voracious Joe Bob Lipsey's production of "A Christmas Carol" is jeopardized by unpaid electric bills.
This is only one of the many problems faced by the duo in the newest presentation of The Courtyard Theater in the Susquehanna Valley Mall, 1 Susquehanna Mall Drive, Suite A-15. "A Tuna Christmas" will run Nov. 29-Dec. 1; Dec. 6-8; and Dec. 13-15. Friday and Saturday performances will begin at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees will begin at 2 p.m.
"A Tuna Christmas" is the second of four comedies written by the team of Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard that were called "laugh riots" when they debuted on Broadway in the late 1980s. The plays, which began with "Greater Tuna," are at once a satire and an affectionate comment on small town southern life which is all but disappearing in America. The comedy is the second show of the new theater; the first was a production of "Sweeney Todd."
The Courtyard Theater will present “A Tuna Christmas,” starring Bob Taylor and Isaac Conner, beginning Nov. 29.
"A Tuna Christmas" will be performed by two quick-changing comedic actors, Bob Taylor and Isaac Conner. Taylor is also the theater's artistic director and Conner recently portrayed Beadle Bamford in "Sweeney Todd."
"This is a huge departure from that role", quipped Conner, "and a heck of a lot more fun."
The pace of the comedy is hectic as the men each portray 11 different characters both male and female.
"We are changing our seating for the next few plays," said Art Lieberman, the theater's manager and the play's producer. "Bob (Taylor) and I have agreed to reduce the theater's capacity and spread the seats out to provide better visibility and comfort for audiences. Because our seating is totally moveable, we can make accommodations for every event we hold at the facility."
Tickets for "A Tuna Christmas" can be purchased by calling the theater at 570-374-0060 during business hours or visiting www.thecourtyard theater.com. They can also be purchased at the box office on performance days.