“Greater Tuna,” the 45th season opener at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, is on stage through Jan. 28. The show features one town, two actors and the greatest number of quick changes ever in one production.
The show begins with a typical day in Tuna, which means a typically zany day in Tuna. Tuna is the third smallest town in Texas and Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie are at the microphones of Radio OKKK, broadcasting at an enormous 275 watts (if they can only remember to turn on the transmitter). The winning entry in the American Heritage Essay Contest is the biggest story of the day before Didi Snavely, of Didi’s Used Guns, arrives in-studio. She is quickly followed by weatherman Harold Dean Lattimer warning of an incoming swarm of locusts. Thankfully, he’s doubtful the swarm will reach Tuna. The zaniness continues to escalate with the arrival of Petey Fisk of the Humane Society lamenting Tuna’s duck problem. He is followed by Phineas Blye, the perpetually losing candidate for city council announcing he’s running again on a new platform. And Coach Raymond Chassie provides the daily high school football report, including his terribly insightful take on why the team has lost, again, 48-0.
New citizens of Tuna continue to take the stage and tell their stories, all played by Eddie Curry and Jeff Stockberger.
Curry and Stockberger pass roles back and forth effortlessly, trying on people as though they’re trying on clothes. Characters include Thurston Wheelis, Bertha Bumiller, Yippy, Leonard Childers, Aunt Pearl Burras, R.R. Snavely, Reverend Spikes, Sheriff Givens and Hank Bumiller, just to name a few. Yes, really. That’s just a few.
Watching Stockberger as Charlene Bumiller is delightfully awful in the best way, and Curry’s portrayal of the strychnine-toting Aunt Pearl was enough to give the audience a collective chill as she carried out her evil deeds onstage.
Tickets range from $44 to $69 and include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet, fruit and salad bar along with unlimited coffee, tea, and lemonade.
Beef and Boards is located at 9301 N. Michigan Road.
For reservations, call the box office at 31-872-9664 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. For more information, visit beefandboards.com.