This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Greater Tuna

On March 13 and 14 the Carnegie Players presented "Greater Tuna," a two-man play set in a small Texas town. Before the play, there was the option of dinner. We went on Saturday, and there was no crowd at all.
There was live entertainment in the form of harp music.
You could sit in the light or in semi-darkness. We enjoyed the meal and the dinner conversation.
The two actors for the show were Mark Brouwer, who also directed, and Roger Burns. I have watched Mark since he was in high school productions, and he has always been an exceptional actor. I have seen much less of Roger Burns, but he provided an excellent match for Mark. The display in the hall outside the high school theater showed some of the costume changes that they would be making, but not the best of them. Click on the picture to see a somewhat larger version that will show some of the characters that they played.
The play had a rather harsh and jaundiced view of life in a small Texas town, but there was a lot of humor, and the actors were really good. Just watching Mark Brouwer play Bertha Bumiller was worth the price of admission.
Roger played the younger women roles, such as Charlene Bumiller, the daughter of Bertha who is frustrated because she never made the cheerleader squad.
Parts of the show were enacting scenes from a radio station. Below Roger as the embittered Didi Snavely is talking to Leonard Childers on the call-in show.
Another character of Mark that was very funny was Pearl Burras, an old lady who poisons dogs. Below Pearl and Vera Carp are paying respects to the late judge who had sentenced Stanley Burmiller, Pearl's nephew, to reform school. Here is the scene on Youtube. I think the Rensselaer production is at least as good. (You can see a lot of different performances on Youtube. If you have gone or are going to go, take a look and you will see just how good Brouwer and Burns are.)
Here is Roger in his last appearance as Charlene. As you can tell, I really enjoyed the scenes where they played women--they were very funny.
The play, with no dinner option, will have its last run on March 20 and 21. Tickets are available at Longs and Jordan Floral. It is exceptionally well done, and if you enjoy live theater, you should not miss it.

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