Greater Tuna' swims with laughs at Lyric at the Plaza 

When Jaston Williams and Joe Sears first started doing Texas sketches for political soirees, they couldn't have guessed that their satirical swipes would grow into the phenomenon "Greater Tuna." Set in little Tuna, Texas, during the course of one long hot day, the play introduces big talkers, small thinkers and assorted movers and shakers to the audience.

Designer Amanda Foust seems to have found every kind of Texas artifact to decorate the rest of the set. Jeffrey Meek's costumes work beautifully with the busy longhorn theme "? realistic enough that they don't scream slapstick, but carefully detailed for a touch of laughter.

ACTORS
Of course the costumes assume a tricky double-duty here, because the gimmick of "Greater Tuna" is that only two actors play all 21 parts. The costume changes are breathtaking; an actor may exit behind one of the trailers, only to emerge five seconds later through its front screen as somebody else.

It's hard to imagine how director Nick Demos could have found a better acting duo than Jonathan Beck Reed and David Coffee. They exploit their physical contrasts of girth and thin to great effect. They play off each other with perfect timing and earnest performances, letting the funny script unfold on its own biting terms.

Recommended, with the reminder that Tuna's satirical humor is adult, focusing on themes of bigotry, ignorance and even some good ol' Texas murders.

"?Linda McDonald

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