By Lynn Geyer
Welcome to Tuna, Texas!
You can‚Äôt miss it. Just drive to the Lakewood Playhouse, park your car and follow the Burma Shave signs to Tuna.
This is an amazing in-the-round romp to the third smallest town in Texas, population 915 ‚Äî plus 2 = 20!
That is, two actors ‚Äî Marcus Walker and Scott Campbell ‚Äî play all 20 of the 915 residents playwrights Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard chose to introduce to you in the current, short-lived production at the Lakewood Playhouse, Greater Tuna.
This hilarious comedy takes the audience to the Texas town where the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies with a hoot and a holler!
Larry Hagerman and Hally Phillips, who also did the costumes, share credit for the set which is so much like Texas ‚Äî a lot of open space ‚Äî surrounded by the Lone Star State‚Äôs flags and spangled with stars adorning the walls. There is just an occasional piece of appropriate furniture to set the scene for the myriad of snippets in this day-in-the-life-of comedy.
Elliot Weiner, perhaps locally better known for his acting prowess, does an excellent job of dealing with the two chameleons, Walker and Campbell. He nicely defines their characters with changes of costume, location and voice.
And characters they are ‚Äî from the two farmer radio announcers on Tuna‚Äôs 200-watt radio station, OKKK, to the Klan‚Äôs Grandmaster who blithely announces the weekly meeting to a book-banning ‚Äúproper‚Äù Vera Carp and a somewhat sloven housewife and her passel of kids to the good ole clich?©-dropping preacher, Reverend Spikes.
Both Walker and Campbell play each bigoted good old boy (and girl) with mild, flamboyant, conservative gusto ‚Äî they do, they do!
When not on stage, Walker is the Managing Artistic Director of Lakewood Playhouse and Campbell is the Associate Managing Artistic Director. So what else do they do in their spare time?
The two are ably assisted by their staff of dressers and crew, Chris Cline, Anne Jones, Jane McKittrick, Aya Clark and Gretchen Phillips aided by Stage Managers Randy Clark.
Kristen Zetterstrom did the lighting design and Joe Kelly with Scott Campbell did the Sound.
Greater Tuna plays only two weekends at the Lakewood Playhouse in the northeast section of the Lakewood Towne Center, behind the Pierce Transit Depot, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8, Sundays at 7 and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 through January 18. Ticket prices range from $14 to $22 with special discounts for seniors, military and anyone under the age of 25.
For reservations or more information, call (253) 588-0042 or go online to www.lakewoodplayhouse.org.
They say that the way to kill bigotry is to laugh at it. If this is true, Greater Tuna is a red-neck death knell ‚Äî it is, it is.
Don‚Äôt miss it! Two short weeks of laughter then Tuna goes back into the can.