If you laughed at Greater Tuna and howled at A Tuna Christmas, no doubt that Red, White, and Tuna, which opens at Circuit Playhouse this week, is the zany summer comedy you’ve been waiting for. In typical Tuna fashion, two actors play all the residents of Texas’ third-smallest town as they prepare for the town’s Fourth of July reunion, fireworks show, and homecoming queen contest. Michael Gravois returns to take on nine characters — four male, five female. We asked him what keeps actors and audiences coming back for more.
Flyer: Do you have a favorite Tuna character? Michael Gravois: There are aspects to each of them that I like — either a fun vocal riff, a comic quirk, or touching personality — and my favorite changes. This week, I’ve been having fun playing Amber, a hippie chick and one of the new characters to the Tuna franchise. How does Red, White, and Tuna compare to other plays in the Tuna franchise? It picks up five and a half years after A Tuna Christmas on the eve of Arles and Bertha’s marriage. Also, Katie Springmann’s set, Alexis Koleff’s costumes, Wes Calkin’s lights, and Noah Glenn’s sound pump up the fun. And our director, John O’Connell, is the master of shtick. What keeps people asking for more Tuna? The audience really responds to the crazy characters, the nonstop one-liners, and the quick costume changes. There are nights when the audience is laughing so hard, all we can do is stand there and wait before we go on with the scene. — Chris Davis