A Tuna Christmas

Two actors, Jay Jenkins and Buddy Mahoney, play 11 different characters apiece in the fictitious redneck town of Tuna, Texas, where “round yon virgin” is considered too racy a lyric for the holiday stage and the radio station is called OKKK. But the funny thing about A Tuna Chrismas is that it’s actually funny. It’s also smartly written, brilliantly acted, briskly paced, and borderline moving. The dialogue gets Texas’ unique lexicon quite right, although the KKK stuff would be better rooted east of Texarkana (or nowhere—it’s the one off-color touch that feels more off than colorful). Plot is secondary to the haphazard relationships between a host of small-town archetypes—gun-shop owner, greasy spoon waitress, tough-luck housewife, juvenile delinquent, closeted community theatre director, society matron—but what passes for a narrative fulcrum is one woman’s quest for an umpteenth consecutive title for her Christmas yard display and the stealth counter-initiative to foil it. MIKE SEELY [See Mike's full review.]

Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Dec. 1. Continues through Dec. 24, 2010

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