‘Greater Tuna’ headed back to Austin … and more

There’s nothing else like it. And Austinites adore it.

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“Greater Tuna” — starring Joe Sears and Jaston Williams and co-written by Ed Howard — debuted here in 1981.

That’s right, 35 years ago. The comedy about small-town Texas life — or lack of it — played off-Broadway and appeared on HBO.

It was topped by “A Tuna Christmas,” which premiered in 1989 made it to Broadway. Sears earned a Tony Award nod.

Next came “Red, White and Tuna,” then “Tuna Does Vegas.”

Both “Greater Tuna” and “A Tuna Christmas” played the White House and toured frequently. So popular was it at the Paramount Theatre, Williams and Sears earned sidewalk stars under the marquee.

Now Williams, how has taken the director’s chair for a touring version of “Greater Tuna” that has been retooled. It will land in Austin at the Long Center April 14-16.

Playing all the roles in the “third smallest town in Texas” will be Ryan H. Bailey, Tim Leavon and Will Mercer.

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Lowry Mays congratulates Red McCombs upon winning the Star of Texas Award. Contributed by Texas Historical Foundation.

Speaking of memorable Texans, more than 250 people gathered at the Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio on Jan. 20 to witness Red McCombs accepting the Star of Texas Award, honoring the contributions that he and his wife, Charline, have made to the state.

Billionaire businessman McCombs is perhaps best known in Austin as a Longhorns super-fan and super-donor — think of the McCombs School of Business — whose approval is sought by incoming University of Texas presidents, coaches and athletic directors.

 


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