Tuna Christmas: The Reviews are In
It was a cold Friday night as the snow fell on the little town of Muncy; a little town, with Big Starts.
Two men, Caleb Feigles and Bob Taylor single handedly portrayed 22 different characters in the show Tuna Christmas.
Feigles, a senior at Muncy High School and an aspiring actor, played 11 roles and captured the audience with his hilarious interpretations of an exotic animal activist, a chain-smoking woman, and a rebellious teenager. His varied voices and costume changes made the crown wince with laughter.
Taylor, Feigles’s partner in crime, also had the crowd at the edge of their seat playing 11 different roles including a poor mother of three, a crime-obsessed old lady, and a talk show host. Both had only mere seconds and barely any room to make their full costume changes; however, the show was a complete success and both actors should be applauded.
I wonder if Director Bob Taylor knew eight years ago when he first saw a tape of the original production of Tuna Christmas how closely it would portray our current economical situation we face today. One could also wonder if he chose this production based in the small town of Tuna, Texas with having ties himself to a small community such as Muncy.
One thing is rather certain, however, both Taylor of Custom Taylored Productions and Muncy High School senior Caleb Feigles are to be commended for their stellar performances with each portraying 11 different characters throughout this play, complete with costume changes strategically mastered on cue without skipping so much as a single theatrical beat.
I will admit I was very skeptical to spend two hours of my Friday night seeing a play with so many characters being performed by two actors. I must also admit I was pleasantly surprised by the end result.
The play was performed on stage at the Ritz Theater in Muncy with festive interludes of holiday tunes such as “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” “Let it Snow,” “Blue Christmas,” “Hark The Herald Angels Sing,” and ending with a touching dance scene performed to “Away in a Manager.”
Taking a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of it all, along with the message one could find in Tuna Christmas, this play combined with the music choices was a holiday treat one could enjoy without worrying about the added holiday calories at this time of year.
The plethora of their characters help remind us in spite of job loss, family problems and relationship troubles one must remain resolved to possess a spirit of tenacity and determination to overcome certain situations they face from time to time.
The undying faith of a mother in her child to redeem himself and grab that second chance life presented him; the way two friends such as Inita and Helen stand by each other and help one another keep the faith in the face of adversity with regard to losing their jobs; courageously moving forward from the nostalgia of Christmases past into the hope this Christmas presents… these are but a few of the gifts one could anxiously unwrap and take home from this production.
Tuna Christmas was performed on a set with minimal props being a half decorated Christmas tree, two metal folding chairs and one tattered folding table but on the contrary, deserves major props for a job well done concerning delivery, inflection, stage presence and audience reception of those in attendance.
I am reminded at this special time of year when time and money is tight for most rather than some, that from little, comes much… two actors, minimal set, props and crew, in a small historical theater in a small, American town, came a wonderful production-a timely holiday reminder to focus on the good in our lives while maintaining our belief in a better tomorrow through our faith, our friends and our families.-Nicole Edwards