Recommended Viewing: Greater Tuna

 

TunaFest at AllanShowalter.com

Yesterday’s post, Recommended Viewing: Oh, Hello – Now On Netflix, featured a performance centered around its ongoing Too Much Tuna prank. Naturally, I was reminded of another hilarious play, Greater Tuna, The following excerpts are from Samuel French:

Greater Tuna was originally produced in 1981 in Austin, Texas, by it’s authors, Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard.  The play’s stars, Williams and Sears, played all twenty characters and Howard directed.  One year after its premier, Greater Tuna opened Off-Broadway, ran for over a year and went on to tour major theatres all over America and spots overseas for the next thirty some years, and became one of the most produced plays in American theatre history.

Time Period – 1980s

Settings Of Play – The fictitious town of Tuna, Texas, located in west Texas, about half-way between San Angelo and Hell.  Though the action takes place in the early eighties, nothing has changed since then.

Howlingly funny.”-Variety

“The audience all but exploded the theatre with laughter.”- The New York Post

“Hilarious, a tribute to the art of acting” – Washington Post

“Sharp, satiric, & funny” – New Yorker

Here’s the problem:There was an HBO Special of Greater Tuna aired in 1984. Copyright conflicts limited the broadcast to only 3 months in 1984. It has never been broadcast again. VHS taped copies  can sometimes be found on eBay but are not cheap.  There have been national tours, but none are currently on the road or, as far as I can determine, planned. So, the best I can offer are YouTube versions and the advice to be alert should a live show appear in your neighborhood.

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Neil Ellis, who recommended this show to me an embarrassingly large number of years ago.

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