Get into the spirit of Independence Day early this year when the hilarious hit “Red, White, and Tuna” opens at the RAT (Rural Area Theater) in downtown Madison. If you caught last summer’s smash hit, “Greater Tuna,” you’ll love this sequel where many of your favorite, or not so favorite, characters return to celebrate Tuna’s 10-year high school reunion. If you missed last year’s performance, you won’t be lost as newcomers arrive in Tuna (the third smallest town in Texas), and the action and fun pick up where last summer left off.
The fun kicks off when three Tuna locals compete for the coveted title of reunion queen. Vera Carp, the leader of the Smut Snatchers of the New Order, is currently leading the competition. But that won’t stop Didi Snavely, local used arms dealer, and Pearl Burras, local eccentric, from pulling out all the stops to ensure victory. The end result is a hilarious twist, as Vera, and all of Tuna, are stunned by the newly elected “queen.”
In the meantime, Stanley Bumiller comes back home to bask in the glory of his successful neo-taxidermy spray-paintings of road kill. Town drunk R.R. Snavely, who hasn’t been seen in a few years, mysteriously shows up, claiming to have been whisked away by a U.F.O. All the while local animal activist Petey Fisk is busy protesting the upcoming Varmint, Critter and Pest Fest.
And in the midst of all of this mayhem, romance has blossomed between local radio personality, Arles Struvie, and his dearest baby, Bertha Bumiller. Their marriage is imminent, if only they can quit arguing over where to spend their honeymoon.
Excellent acting, along with creative costuming, brings these characters, and many more, to life. Donn Smith and Justin Webb reprise their roles from the original “Tuna” hit and Alberto Rosario joins the cast this year. Each actor portrays multiple characters, playing both male and female roles.
This show is directed by Jessica Webb with costume design by Judie Baldwin (RATT pact co-founders). Dawn Renner will keep everything running backstage as stage manager, and Tim Dunn is coordinating lights and sound. Performance dates are Thursday, June 23 through Sunday, June 26. A Texas bar-b-q picnic, prepared by Cheryl Abercrombie, will be served during intermission. Reservations are recommended. For more information, or to reserve your seats, visit the theater’s website at www.rattpact.com or call 850-673-9585.