CCA Theater Season Makes the Holidays Laugh with ‘Tuna Christmas’

It’s a madhouse in quirky Tuna, Texas, where the annual holiday lawn show competition gets particularly vicious this year and tree lights are compromised by unpaid electricity bills.

The shenanigans are part of “A Tuna Christmas,” which is a gift marked “returned” to the audience at Alvin Community College.

“It’s just great to come back and do live theater,” said Jay Burton, chairman of the CCA drama department and director of production, which runs December 4-5 and December 9. December 11.

The wacky Christmas attack on a small town in Texas

The school’s 2021-22 season began with a group of adults acting like children in Tony Award-winning Yasmina Reza’s play “God of Carnage” in October, when auditions were held for ” A Tuna Christmas “and Burton was faced with the task of finding male actors to play 20 characters, both male and female.

Burton set out to broadcast the wealth of meaty comedic roles among David Blystone of Pasadena, Cammie Vavich of Alvin, Justin Morgan Brown of Friendswood and Thaddeus Eccles of Pearland.

What: “A Christmas with tuna”

Or: Alvin Community College, 3110 Mustang Rd., Alvin

When: 7:30 p.m. December 4, 9-11, 2:30 p.m. December 5

Admission: $ 7 in advance, $ 9 at the door

Information: 281-756-3606;

At the auditions, said Burton, “All four were very good and the variety of physical sizes and vocals worked so well. So I decided it would improve the show to use four actors instead of two. The script explicitly states that the cast can be made larger so I did. It makes the show really interesting.

Originally, the roles were shared between two actors, Jason Williams and Joe Sears. The duo co-wrote the piece with Ed Howard as a sequel to the 1981 trio hit “Greater Tuna”.

On Broadway in 1995, Sears was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Play for his juggling of characters such as OKKK Radio disc jockey Thurtson Wheelis, grumpy Sheriff Givens, housewife Bertha Bumiller and the Avenger. Aunt Pearl Burras in “A Tuna Christmas.”

Williams was widely praised for his portrayals of characters which included gangly disc jockey Arles Struvie, teenage delinquent Stanley Bumiller, host Vera Carp and Tasty-Creme waitress Helen Bedd.

“Always… Patsy Cline” scheduled for spring

Auditions for the final play of the season, “Always… Patsy Cline”, will take place January 18-19 at the ACC Theater, where it will take place on March 5, 6, 10 and 12.

“The spring musical will be about the life and music of the legendary singer,” said Burton. “It’s based on the true story of a friendship between Cline and a Houston fan.”

Burton said that, as with every production, “We are doing auditions and hoping to have the actors we need. The challenge of casting Patsy Cline will be to find not just a singer, but a singer who can act.

“Always … Patsy Cline” premiered in 1988 at the Stages Repertory Theater in Houston on a dual show with “Icehouse,” a one-act play by the late Jeff Millar, film critic and columnist for the Houston Chronicle.

In 2022, the college’s annual summer children’s theater festival will return with “The Adventures of Peter Cottontail” from June 20 to 23 and “Alice in Wonderland” from July 25 to 28.

Auditions for both plays will take place on May 10 and 11.

Don Maines is a freelance writer who can be contacted at [email protected]

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