Barbecued Tuna

You've done this: You've started telling a hilarious anecdote, only to see your listener stare blankly, unsmiling. "I guess you had to be there," you say, flailing for dignity. In the case of the ladies from Tuna, Texas, the opposite may be true. Maybe you had to not be there to truly appreciate Jaston Williams' and Joe Sears' portrayals of small-town matrons Vera Carp and Pearl Burras. If you grew up in a small hick town, the pair's "comic" plays Greater Tuna and A Tuna Christmas, set in the fictional third-smallest town in Texas, seem like documentaries. A battle over who has the best Christmas yard display? Listen, in my hometown, one of the locals persuaded the city council to change the name of his street to Candy Cane Lane in honor of the elaborately tacky holiday displays he erects. And Vera Carp? I have an aunt named—no fooling—Versa who could give Vera some fashion tips. Just a tweaking, mind, no major makeover. I'm not sure, but there may have been a Carp family in my town. Still, you city folk seem to enjoy reports on life in Tuna, so here's your chance to hang with Vera and Pearl as the ladies make an appearance at Eddie Deen's Ranch, 944 S. Lamar St., at 6:30 p.m. Sunday for a barbecue and auction supporting the Turtle Creek Chorale. Vera and Pearl will serve as auctioneers for what is an advance party for the upcoming June premiere of the musical collaboration Turtles and Tuna. Tickets for the auction are $35 for general admission and $100 for VIP passes. Call 214-526-3214, ext. 102.
Sun., May 14, 6:30 p.m.
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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams