The City Sentinel

Tuna Triumph, a special anniversary, post-electric humor, a caveman’s visit, and a beauty’s artistry

Darla Shelden Story by on January 5, 2017 . Click on author name to view all articles by this author. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
At last month’s opening night performance of “A Tuna Christmas” were, from left, business director Jon Haque, David Kolen from the Chicago office of the Actors’ Equity Association, performer Jonathan Beck Reed, director Steve Emerson and performer Don Jordan. presented a commendation to members of the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre, recognizing the local professional troupe’s 15th anniversary. Photograph by Patrick B. McGuigan

At last month’s opening night performance of “A Tuna Christmas” were, from left, business director Jon Haque, David Kolen from the Chicago office of the Actors’ Equity Association, performer Jonathan Beck Reed, director Steve Emerson and performer Don Jordan. presented a commendation to members of the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre, recognizing the local professional troupe’s 15th anniversary. Photograph by Patrick B. McGuigan

Patrick B. McGuigan, editor

OKLAHOMA CITY – CityRep, affiliated with the Actors Equity Association, received another singular honor on opening night of the group’s most recent performance.

David Kolen, a representative of the national association based in Chicago, came to town to present a special commendation to CityRep, in recognition of the 15th Anniversary of the Sooner State’s only professional equity theatre. The presentation was made moments before the start of the first act on December 3.

Kolen read aloud the national group’s affirmation of the Oklahoma City affiliate: “Whereas CityRep remains a cultural leader in its community by providing theatre that is vital to the cultural, educational and economic life of Oklahoma, now, therefore, Actors’ Equity Association does hereby congratulate Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre on 15 years of theatrical and cultural excellence.”

And, here’s a quick review of that most recent performance from the folks at City Rep:

Jonathan Beck Reed and Don Jordan were brilliant (as always) in ‘A Tuna Christmas,’ at the Civic Center’s Freede Little Theatre, which ran the first three weekends of December.

In this case, as in all the Tuna triumphs, the veteran pair portrayed every character (guys and gals of all ages) with wit, aplomb, and a critical cultural eye.

In the spirit of the season, there was just enough tender sentiment to elevate the proceedings from dark humor to the heights of fall-out-your-chair belly laughs and amazed head shakes.

Once upon a time, Jordan reflected that elsewhere in America folks think the “Tuna” plays set in the third smallest town in Texas are comedy — but hereabouts (The Sooner State and Baja Oklahoma down south) we know they are really more like a documentary.

For return visitors, seeing “A Tuna Christmas” was like seeing members of the family. “All y’all” first-timers now you understand what we’ve all been raving about.

Still to come in 2017 – February 10 and 11 in cooperation with Oklahoma City Community College — “Defending the Caveman.”  This one-man show is among the most uproarious interpretations ever offered about the mysteries and wonders of relationships between men and women.

Just a couple of weeks later (Feb. 23 – March 5)in the intimate “CitySpace” theatre of the Civic Center basement, the troupe will present the musical, “Mr. Burns – a Post-Electric Play” – described as a “dark comedy.”

Dark, indeed: The story by Anne Washburn (with a score composed by Michael Friedman) is set at various times after a future Armageddon, capturing memories of an episode of “The Simpsons.” CityRep will present that show in cooperation with Oklahoma City University’s School of Theatre.

Then, one night only (April 2), again at OCCC’s Visual & Performing Arts Center, will be six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, whom The New York Times has called “a one-of-a-kind musical super talent.” A recipient o the National Medal for the Arts from President Barack Obama, McDonald is characterized by CityRep staff as “unparalled in the breath and versatility of her artistry, as both a singer and an actress.”

For information on the upcoming programs from the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre, visit cityrep.com, or telephone 405-682-7579.

The City Sentinel is a proud support of CityRep.

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