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Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012

'Greater Tuna' Arrives at Sunset Playhouse

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Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard's Greater Tuna seems like an unlikely success story. There is very little that is novel or original about the play—essentially, it is a sketch comedy show featuring two guys in a variety of roles in the setting of Tuna, the fictional “third smallest town in Texas.”

But what started as a small success in Austin, Texas, in 1981 promptly became a bigger movement off-Broadway in '82. According to the show's official website, by 1985 Greater Tuna had become the most produced play in the United States. The simple comedy (think of men dressing in drag and speaking with colorfully exaggerated Texas accents) of small-town residents has found a great deal of success all over the country, prompting three sequels since its debut.

Locally, the play enjoyed a staging with the Milwaukee Rep, starring popular Rep actors Gerard Neugent and Lee Ernst. More recently, the emerging theater company World's Stage launched a run as well. The latest production of the hit comedy makes it to Elm Grove this month, at the Sunset Playhouse. Audiences should enjoy this comic juggernaut as it continues its long, slow march to theatrical immortality.

The Sunset Playhouse's production of Greater Tuna runs Feb. 23-March 11. For ticket reservations, call 262-782-4430.

Theater Happenings


  • The touring Broadway version of the beloved musical Mary Poppins comes to town Feb. 28-March 4 for Broadway at the Marcus Center in Uihlein Hall. For ticket reservations, call 414-273-7206.
  • Project Empty Space and Bad Example Productions present an intimate production of George Orwell's 1984 March 1-17 at the Alchemist Theatre. The stage adaptation draws from a portion of the book in which a political prisoner watches as scenes from his diary are played out before him. For ticket reservations, visit alchemisttheatre.com.
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