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Greater Tuna 

When: Sat., May 26, 3 p.m., Sun., May 27, 6 p.m., Mon., May 28, 4 p.m., Thu., May 31, 7 p.m., Fri., June 1, 8 p.m., Sat., June 2, 2 p.m., Wed., June 6, 7 p.m., Thu., June 7, 7 p.m., Fri., June 8, 8 p.m., Sat., June 9, 8 p.m. and Sun., June 10, 3 p.m. 2012
Phone: (866) 811-4111
Price: $21/adults, $19/students and seniors
www.piccolospoleto.com

The basics, in case you don't know. Two men, played by Robin Burke and Robbie Thomas of the Charleston Acting Studio, take on 20 roles. It's both a parody and a dark satire of small-town Southern life.

The human side. Will this production delve into the deeper waters of Tuna or will it simply mine the material for easy laughs? Director Rob Maniscalco says his actors are on stage creating characters, not performing a comedy show. "My take on doing Greater Tuna, a familiar piece for a lot of people, was to look for the humanity and not just for the comic laugh."

Do it for Petey. Maniscalco picked this piece specifically for Burke and Thomas, who he considers two of the best male actors we have in Charleston. "We selected Tuna on the off-chance that they were available. They've never worked together before, but it's as if they've been working together for years." He says Burke's depiction of Petey, the animal rights activist, is downright beautiful — so beautiful, he'll make you cry.

— Stephanie Barna
click to enlarge greatertuna.jpg

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