To say that Tuna, Texas is a town filled with radical, simple-minded, hilarious people would be putting it quite mildly.
"Greater Tuna" is the comedy being presented on the Okoboji Summer Theatre this week. It is about a small town where KKK members, religious leaders and the director of the Humane Society pretty much run things. It is uproariously funny but upon reflection, tries to teach us some lessons as we laugh our way through the show.
We encounter narrow-minded busy bodies who look for the evil in even the words of the dictionary. We encounter mentally unbalanced people whose parents have no clue about to how to be parents. We find out how to commit murder without anyone suspecting it wasn't death by natural causes.
The play cast is comprised of only two people. Amanda Ladd and Travis Mitchell play many roles in this fast-paced comedy. They had mountains of lines to learn and I commend them on accomplishing this fete so very well. Ladd played both female and male roles as did Mitchell. We never knew who would be coming onto the uniquely and cleverly designed stage. Kudos to Kenneth George for the set design.
Ladd was adorable as the little lady going to meetings at the Baptist church and humorous as the guy who ran the Humane Society.
Mitchell was the funniest Elvis-style Baptist preacher I have ever run across. His Elvis style delivery of the eulogy for the town's judge was totally hilarious. We all laughed so hard and so long at the antics of those two characters on stage during that scene, that I was coughing and wiping my eyes for quite a long time. His old lady dancing routine was another comedic adventure to be remembered for a long time to come.
I wish the costume changers had come out for a curtain call. They have to be magicians to be able to change the clothes, shoes and wigs on the two actors so fast. Sometimes there was only seven or eight seconds to accomplish a change from a man to a woman or vice versa. The precision backstage was first-rate to pull this off without a hitch. I send out a huge bravo to those costume geniuses!
I have to admit that I was glad to leave Tuna, Texas, and its bigoted residents at the end of the evening. But I also have not ever had so much fun laughing at idiocy and prejudice and total lack of common sense. I am so glad I visited Tuna.
Doctors tell us that laughter is good medicine. "Greater Tuna" has a huge dose of medicine ready to dispense so I suggest you get your "shot" of humor at the Okoboji Summer Theatre this week.