Say goodnight, Tuna

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Daily life in the small town of Tuna, Texas, is anything but routine, as we learn from a collection of short scenes connected through the local radio station, which brings absurd news, eccentric characters and lots of laughs to the Greater Tuna area. OKKK radio hosts Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvis introduce a myriad of problems and people through weather reports, news and radio interviews that capture an average day in Tuna.

Local inhabitants include Bertha Bumiller, the mother of three discontent high-schoolers and leader of such groups as the Better Baptist Bureau and Ladies for a Better Tuna. While Bertha moralistically tries to comfort her misfit daughter Charlene, Bertha’s son Stanley — now home from reform school — is aiding his aunt Pearl Burras after a dog-killing scheme backfires, leaving her with the body of her husband’s dog to dispose of.

On the air, the ever-hopeful Petey Fisk makes ongoing appeals from the Greater Tuna Humane Society regarding fish and fowl. And in town the death of a local judge is revealed to be more than it seems, as Stanley has taken his revenge for being sent to reform school. Insight into local politics comes from Vera Carp and the Reverend Spikes’ efforts to form a local “book-snatching squad” to censor the high school library. Ultimately, a day of following OKKK and its listeners reveals the lowest common denominator of culture that is Tuna’s hallmark.

This comedy runs through Sunday, Feb. 17. Times, dates and ticket information is available at www.portlandstage.org or call 207-774-0465. Portland Stage is located at 25A Forest Avenue.

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