Greater Tuna Austin Tickets
Greater Tuna is a comedic two-man play about life in a small town in Texas. It is simultaneously a loving tribute and a searing satire of Southern rural life created by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard. It was birthed in the summer of 1981, growing out of a party skit Williams and Sears created about a “reactionary” Texas Panhandle radio station. When it proved popular, the two enlisted Howard and together they scripted the play. Howard then directed Williams and Sears and paid for the stage on which it debuted.
Greater Tuna was a resounding success at its premiere. Williams and Sears played all the men, women and children of this fictional town. They embarked on a successful tour across the country and ended up in a successful year’s residency off-Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre in New York in 1982. This is where the show caught the eye of TV producer Norman Lear, who parlayed the show into a successful HBO special.
More success followed as Williams and Sears took the small town of Tuna and its idiosyncratic cast of characters to towns all around the U.S. and even to Scotland’s famed Edinburgh Festival, where it was the highlight of the showings in 1988. Greater Tuna was also performed at the White House in 1990 and 1991 at the invitation of President and Mrs. Bush.
Three sequels followed to expand the Tunaverse. A Tuna Christmas, which became the toast of Broadway and netted Mr. Sears a Tony Award nomination for best actor and then Red, White, and Tuna. Finally, Tuna Does Vegas tells about the adventures of the eccentric oddballs from the “third smallest town in Texas” as they hit Sin City.
By the mid-eighties, Greater Tuna was the most produced play in America. Schools, colleges, community and professional theaters all presented their versions of it; some cast two male actors to play every character while others featured a full cast of the characters. Some of these productions have run for several years.
Williams and Sears don wigs, glasses and mustaches one more time as they bring the small town of Tuna to the Long Center in the big city of Austin, TX on tour. The Long Center is a performing arts venue which emphasizes eclectic programming for all ages and interests, as well as fostering local talent. More than 80% of the center’s programming comes from local artists.
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Symphonies, operas, ballets, rock and jazz are offered every season at the Long Center. Other shows that interest might interest you are Kathy Griffin, Sister’s Back to School Catechism and Elvis Lives!
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