Thursday, June 7, 2012

In the Wings: Red, White and Tuna. Meet Larry Sommers.

Larry Sommers plays several characters in Red, White and Tuna, the final show in the 2011-2012 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The script is by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard. Larry works at Purdue University.

Question: What challenges are there to performing in this show?
Larry Sommers: The show, by its nature, is sketch comedy like "Saturday Night Live." Anytime you have new characters, the challenge is to define the character in one moment so when you walk onstage the audiences thinks, "I knew somebody like that in high school."

Q: What is it like working with the backstage crew?
L.S.: They are the heart of the show. If they're not ticking well, the show doesn't tick. Some people are back from previous productions and that helps.

Q: What will an audience most enjoy about this production of Red, White and Tuna?
L.S.: Like any Tuna show, it's got mildly politically incorrect, silly, goofy humor; it's got the fast costume changes. That's the charm of the show.

Q: What is the smallest town you've ever lived in, and do you see any similarities between it and Tuna, Texas?
L.S.: I grew up on a farm, so I didn't live in a town. But I was right between Plevna and Wawpecong. It was like Tuna in that everybody knew everybody. People would drive down the road, and you'd wave because chances were you knew them, who they were seeing and why their kids ran away from home.

Red, White and Tuna opens Friday, June 8 and runs through Sunday, June 24 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre at the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette.

Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday shows begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for youth age 18 and under.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit Civic Theatre's website.

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