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Arts

A Tuna Christmas

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Think you've got crazy Christmas holidays coming at you? Take heart, you could be in the third smallest town in  Texas. Good cheer-- always in short supply in Tuna, Texas-- is threatening to vanish altogether.

The Melbourne Community Theatre welcomes the holiday seasons with the rip-roaring "A Tuna Christmas" that runs from December 2 through December 24.

A sequel to "Greater Tuna," the show is really just a series of interconnected sketches. The cast, Steve Costner and Michael Thompson, each portrays 11 residents of Tuna -- young and old, male and female, nasty and nastier -- in a frenzy of split-second costume and character changes.

Radio station OKKK news personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie report on various Yuletide activities, including the ferocious annual Christmas Yard Display Contest, won 14 times in a row by Vera Carp.  A mysterious "Christmas Phantom," known for vandalizing the yard light displays, has the contestants on edge.

Among the subplots are Stanley Bumiller's attempts to end his probation and leave Tuna while the Smut Snatchers are trying to have "Silent Night" banned on the grounds that decent people don't sing about "round, young virgins." Meanwhile, Bertha Bumiller struggles to hold her family together at Christmastime, and if the electric company makes good on its promise to shut off the juice, the Tuna Little Theater's production of "A Christmas Carol" will close before it opens.

"A Tuna Christmas" is both an  affectionate commentary and withering satire of small town, Southern life and attitudes. Peg Girard directs.

Tickets are $30. The show runs through Dec. 24 with performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Melbourne Civic Theatre is at 817 E. Strawbridge Ave. For more information, call 321-723-6935 or  http://www.mymct.org

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