Tuna Does Vegas: Fourth Play in Greater Tuna Series, with Original Stars
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The last date listed for Tuna Does Vegas was Sunday May 3, 2009 / 7:00pm.
Written by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears & Ed Howard
Directed by Ed Howard
Southern California Premiere
The First New Tuna Show in Over a Decade!
Joe Sears and Jaston Williams return to La Mirada in their first new show in a decade. Polyester-clad Bertha Bumiller and gun-crazy Arles Struvie decide to head to Las Vegas to renew their wedding vows. But Arles announces the trip on his conservative radio talk show, and so nearly everyone in Tuna decides to head to Sin City as well. Petey Fisk from the Greater Tuna Humane Society goes on a mission to find out if the white jungle cats in Vegas are really albinos or just the victims of bad dye jobs, Inita and Helen from the Tastee Kreme take a spin as showgirls, Joe Bob goes on the Rush Limbaugh diet and Vera and Pearl battle over the slot machines. Find out what happens when an Elvis impersonator from the sequined white stretch-pants era gets double-booked with another Elvis impersonator from the “Blue Hawaii” period. Don’t miss the fun of Tuna Does Vegas!
Tuna Does Vegas has assembled an award-winning design team. The set design is by Christopher McCollum. The lighting design is by David Nancarrow. The costume design is by Linda Fisher. The sound design is by Ken Huncovsky.
Joe Sears is co-author and co-star of Tuna Does Vegas_, as well as co-author and co-star of the wildly successful Tuna Trilogy_. Mr. Sears has been touring extensively with the Tuna Trilogy_ productions for the past 22 years. His sixth tour of A Tuna Christmas_ included his Broadway debut for which he received a 1995 Tony Award-nomination for Best Actor in a Play. The first record-breaking year included a command performance for President and Mrs. George Bush at the White House. Mr. Sears’ Washington, D.C. engagement of A Tuna Christmas_ earned him his third nomination for the Helen Hayes Award for Best Actor. A Tuna Christmas_ was also nominated for Best Play. Mr. Sears also received nominations in 1984 and 1988 for the Helen Hayes Award for his performance in Greater Tuna_. He originated these roles off-Broadway when Greater Tuna_ premiered in 1982 and has performed in the highly successful national tours and co-wrote and starred in the Embassy Television/ Norman Lear Special of Greater Tuna_ which aired on HBO. Mr. Sears has been acting professionally for the past 30 years. His credits include a season with Theatre Works USA in New York, summer stock, outdoor drama, television and eight Shakespeare plays. Among his many roles are Bottom and Thisby in two separate productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream_, Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor_, and the Doctor in Three Sisters_. He appeared with Fannie Flagg (Fried Green Tomatoes_) in The Foreigner_. Later he would play Fannie’s role and attributes his success to her. Mr. Sears has appeared on the David Letterman and Merv Griffin shows and received a Los Angeles Drama-Logue Award for his writing and performance of Greater Tuna. Mr. Sears received the 1993 Los Angeles Drama-Logue Award for Best Actor in A Tuna Christmas. He performed in the musical comedy The Fantasticks at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. and at Casa Mañana Theatre in Fort Worth. He made his movie debut with Tommy Lee Jones and Matt Damon in The Good Old Boys. Mr. Sears is the playwright for the Cherokee Nation’s outdoor drama Trail of Tears, which runs during the summer months in Tahlequah, OK. Mr. Sears was awarded the L.A. Theatre Ovation Award for Best Actor 1999. He recently completed the Libretto (along with Mr. Williams) for the new Comic OperaOchelata’s Wedding, commissioned by the OK Mozart International Music Festival. He and Austin-Nashville songwriter Kimmie Rhodes are now working on a new musical entitled Doin’ God’s Chores, an Austin workshop production. Mr. Sears also owns and operates Cody Stage, a summer stock theatre company in Cody, WY.
Jaston Williams is co-author, co-star and producer of Tuna Does Vegas_ and is the co-author and co-star of the Tuna Trilogy_. Mr. Williams has been creating the citizens of Tuna for the last 22 years. The performances have played on and off Broadway at the Kennedy Center, the Edinburgh International Arts Festival, the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. and all over America. He has received Washington D.C.‘s Helen Hayes Award nominations for A Tuna Christmas_ and Red, White and Tuna_ as well as the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Award for Greater Tuna_. Mr. Williams received the L.A. Drama-Logue Award for both Greater Tuna_ and A Tuna Christmas. A Tuna Christmas was published in “Best Plays of 1995.” For several years, Mr. Williams toured in Larry Shue’s The Foreigner_, for which he received a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best Actor. He performed in The Fantasticks_ at Washington D.C.‘s Ford’s Theatre and directed the musical Bad Girls Upset By The Truth_ at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre. Mr. Williams received the Texas Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts by a Native Texan and has performed at the White House on three occasions. In his hometown of Austin, Texas, Mr. Williams has appeared at the State Theatre in Eugene Ionesco’s The Chairs_ and at Zachary Scott Theatre in Jay Presson Allen’s Tru_, for which he received the Austin Critics Table Award for Best Actor in a drama. He most recently appeared at Zachary Scott Theatre in _The Laramie Project. His play, Romeo and Thorazine, work-shopped at Zachary Scott Theatre in November 2001. He work-shopped his autobiographical one-man show I’m Not Lying to critical acclaim at Austin’s State Theatre of Texas and returned it there for a full production in April of 2004 as well as a benefit performance at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center. His latest autobiographical play Cowboy Noises premiered in Austin in April 2008 to critical acclaim.
Ed Howard (Co-Author/Director) is the co-author of the plays Greater Tuna; A Tuna Christmas; Red, White and Tuna; Tuna Does Vegas_ and Splendora_. He is the author of_All The Way From Magnolia Springs_, a play based on Fannie Flagg’s first novel Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man_. He wrote the book and lyrics for the musical The Tempest Tossed_. Off-Broadway he directed Great Tuna_ and _Laughing Stock by Romulus Linney, which was selected as one of the ten best plays of 1984 by Time Magazine. He directed A Tuna Christmas on Broadway and directed the national tours of all the Tuna plays and All The Way From Magnolia Springs.