Bizarre and quirky are two characteristics that come quickly to mind when you explore the folks who people the fictional town of Tuna, Texas, with a reputation for being the third smallest county in that vast metropolis. The brain child of Joe Sears, Jaston Williams and Ed Howard, and only one of a rumored four, the trio produced "Greater Tuna" way back in 1981 and haven't stopped yet.
The Connecticut Cabaret Theatre in Berlin will be hosting a bevy of eccentric citizens from Tuna weekends until Saturday, July 18 and they are all portrayed in their comedic splendor by two actors: Chris Pearson and Robert Schultz. Hang on to your can of cold Schlitz and your best bonnet, the one with the red roses and the yellow canaries, for it’s sure to be a bumpy and funny ride.
Sears, Williams and Howard, believe it or not, based their weird menu of characters - from radio disc jockeys to sheriffs to gunstore owners, undertakers to animal activists to dishonest judges - on people they encountered growing up as well as on relatives they met at family dinners.
Of the twenty plus folk created, who will be your favorite? Redneck fever is contagious in Tuna and you'll likely catch it quickly and hard. Think of a sarcastic and satirical whirling dervish religiously and politically incorrect let loose from the asylum for a few hours of no-holds barred fun. Radio Station WOKKK is ready and happy to bring you the latest news on Tuna's doings, like what books are being banned this week, will Yippie the dog find a good home (or any home), who is planning Halloween pranks (even if it is only July), will Charlene squeeze herself into her brother's tight jeans and still be able to breathe, how will coconuts fit into the local production of "My Fair Lady" and other burning questions of the day.
Chris Pearson and Robert Schultz are clearly in a tour de force mode as they quickly shed one costume and persona for dozens of others, from Stanley the reform school graduate to Pearl with the perfect white feathered bonnet, members of the Smut Snatchers organization to Dee's gun store specials. Their perverse sense of humor knows no bounds as the pair are an equal opportunity in offense employer. They will probably grow on you like a rash of poison ivy as they reminisce on "Tuna, Oh My Tuna" and encourage the good citizens to "Let It Out."
Kris McMurray has a lot of fun putting this pair of talented actors through their hoops at a dizzying pace. Their "dressers" and "undressers," Carleigh Schultz and Jess Rubin, deserve recognition for their backstage machinations.
For tickets ($30), call the CT Cabaret, 31-33 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at www.ctcabaret.com. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:15 p.m. There are no performances the weekend of July 4 and 5. Bring goodies to share at your table or plan to buy dessert and drinks at the concession stand.
Take a romp down south where the snakes have names (Ruth), the teens have a regular schedule for running away (Nadine) and ladies like Vera wouldn't be caught dead without their proper white gloves, even when they burn classic literature.