January 20, 2013

Winter Theater Roundup: Texas to a 'T'

By Bob Keyes bkeyes@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Dustin Tucker, left, and Tom Ford in character as Arles Struvie and Thurston Wheelis, hosts of a small-town Texas radio show in “Greater Tuna.”

Photos by Aaron Flacke/Courtesy of Portland Stage Company

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Dustin Tucker as caller Didi Snavely, who wants to know if anything can “be done about those Halloween pranksters.”

Additional Photos Below


WHERE: Portland Stage Company, 25A Forest Ave.

WHEN: Previews at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; then 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through Feb. 17; with additional performances at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12 and 2 p.m. Feb. 14.

TICKETS & INFO: $34 to $44; 774-0465 or portlandstage.org

STARRING: Tom Ford and Dustin Tucker, with direction by Julia Gibson

Their paths have taken remarkably similar routes.

Tucker grew up in Amarillo and Ford grew up in Lubbock. Both left Texas at a young age for actor training at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. Both have family in Texas, and both return home frequently to visit. Ford bases his career out of New York, and Tucker now lives in Portland.

Both were home in Texas over Christmas, and both love their home state.

They are appearing in "Greater Tuna" not to make fun of Texas, but to do justice to the material, Tucker said. Neither has ever seen real Texans do this show, and both are eager to bring Lone Star credibility to these memorable characters.

"These are real people that Jaston and Joe (the creators) knew," Tucker said. "To a lot of people, they come across as cartoons. But they're not. This show celebrates small-town Texas, but you can find these people in small towns everywhere."

That is why Stewart hired these two guys. She is not interested in cheap laughs, but wants Ford and Tucker to find the humanity in these people.

"I expect them to bring that passion," she said. "How strange it is that two guys from the middle of nowhere in Texas wind up here connected to this theater. It felt like it needed to happen."


Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or:


Twitter: pphbkeyes


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Additional Photos

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In this scene from “Greater Tuna,” Pearl Burras, played by Tom Ford, frets over accidentally killing her husband’s $2,000 dog, Ripper.


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