Harp, Wlas To Star in RED, WHITE AND TUNA at Gaslight Dinner Theatre
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by Jeffrey Ellis
Just in time for Independence Day celebrations, the Gaslight Dinner Theatre at The Renaissance Center in Dickson brings back the residents of tiny Tuna, Texas, with Pacer Harp returning in multiple roles in REd White & Tuna, running July 3-28. Previously, Harp (director of theater at The RenCen) has been seen in Greater Tuna and A Tuna Christmas.
Joining Harp onstage to bring the citizens of Tuna to life is Bryan J. Wlas, frequent director and choreographer for Gaslight Dinner Theatre shows and for The Renaissance Players.
Set in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas; the "third-smallest" town in the state, the Tuna series of plays are an affectionate comment on small-town, Southern life and attitudes, as well as a sharp satire of such communities and typical townspeople. Red, White & Tuna is the third of the Tuna series, preceded by Greater Tuna and A Tuna Christmas, and followed by Tuna Does Vegas.
All of the Tuna plays are written by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard, and are noteworthy due to the fact that two actors play the entire cast of eccentric characters of both genders and various ages. The original concept of Greater Tuna began as a party skit based on a political cartoon and soon became a critically acclaimed production that has entertained audiences across the globe for over three decades. Williams and Sears regularly tour the country to perform all four plays, with Howard directing.
Red, White and Tuna, which debuted in 1998, takes audiences through another satirical ride into the hearts and minds of the polyester-clad citizens of Tuna, Texas. Along with Tuna's perennial favorites, some new Tuna denizens burst onto the scene of the 4th of July Tuna High School Class Reunion. This sets the stage for a show full of fireworks and fun from the land where the Lion's Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies.
Harp has acted in and/or directed over 50 productions at the center, and was most recently seen in the musical Church Basement Ladies in April/May, and in Mitch Albom’s Duck Hunter Shoots Angel this past December. Wlas recently directed the Renaissance Players production of Bye Bye Birdie and was last seen in Babes in Hollywood, The Music of Garland and Rooney.
Directing Red, White & Tuna is Amy Scott, former Managing Director of the Renaissance Players Community Theatre. Over the past decade Scott has directed, costumed and appeared in many productions for The Gaslight Dinner Theatre, The Mind Enriching Theatre Series, and The Renaissance Players Community Theatre, including directing the Gaslight productions of A Greater Tuna and A Tuna Christmas. Taking on the very important and often hectic responsibilities of Wardrobe and Costuming for the production are both Scott and Rachel Gallup, who has provided Wardrobe for all of the Gaslight Dinner Theatre and Renaissance Players productions in 2011 and 2012.
Performances of Red, White & Tuna include Friday and Saturday evening shows (dinner at 6:30 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m.) and Tuesday and Thursday Matinee performances (lunch at 12 noon and show at 1 p.m.). Tickets are $37 for the dinner and show evening performance and $27 for lunch and show matinees. For tickets, call (615) 740-5600 or (888) 700-2300. Tickets are also available online at www.rcenter.org.