Sunday, August 22, 2010

Great Greater Greatest

GREATER TUNA by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard, aptly directed by Guilford Adams currently playing at the picaresque Sierra Madre Playhouse is if nothing else, a crowd pleaser. It’s the sort of romp that community theatre loves to embrace and without a doubt, it’s embraceable.
Greater Tuna opened almost thirty years ago and has been a staple in ambitious little theatres ever since.
Sierra Madre’s down home take on Tuna, Texas is a basic peek into the odd goings on in a teeny tiny Texas town. Featuring Dustin Fasching (Left) and Justin Baker (Right) (Photo by Donald Songster) playing every single part: men, women and an occasional dog, the show moves apace, as it should. The fun, of course, is in the challenge for each character to enter and have a scene while the other is madly changing costumes off stage. Baker and Fasching, brought their dressers Carrie and Melissa Flores on for the curtain call! It would be tough to accomplish the illusion without them.

Set in sundry locations in and around the Greater Tuna area, thus the name of the show, at rise we meet an unlikely pair of radio guys reporting the local news of the day, only to realize that they have failed to actually go on the air. The connections between all of the characters evolve slowly and the jokes are not subtle. The fun is in seeing these two talented actors switch characters at the drop of a hat and the donning of a wig and a dress. In a dress, Baker’s leg are impressive.

It’s tough to do an actual review of a show like this because it’s all in good fun and the nudge and the wink are built in. How the two actors keep track of where they are and at the same time keep a straight face while nicely defining each oddball character is terrific.

Dining near the theatre is diverse and it’s worth the trip up the hill to find a simpler time and place. Picaresque says it all.

Sierra Madre Playhouse
87 Sierra Madre Blvd.
Sierra Madre, CA 91024

Reservations or Information:
Through September 25, 2010

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