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For the first time in 11 years, Lynn Farris and Mike Thacker are bringing tuna back. (Not to be confused with bringing sexy back.)
They are older.
They are wiser (allegedly).
And one of them has lost practically all of his hair.
But, they’ve still got “it” on stage.
I spent an hour with them Saturday and laughed with them (and at them) the entire time.
So, what made them decide to bring the play “Greater Tuna” back to the stage?
“He's going to be dead in a few years and I just thought we could do one last swan song,” Thacker said Saturday morning during rehearsal at Centre Square.
“One last swan song… That's redundant,” Farris, a former English teacher, chimed back.
Farris and Thacker performed “Greater Tuna” in 2002, and while they admit a few things have changed since then, some things remain the same.
“Well, he has no hair,” Thacker said. “We can't remember our lines. No different for him, but a surprising thing for me.”
According to Farris, the play, which involves lots of costume changes, is more difficult to do now.
And, speaking of the costumes, they’ve had to find some new ones.
“All the costumes we had... none of them fit anymore,” Thacker said. “We can't button them anymore.”
Both of them play 10 characters a piece in the two-act play, including women, children and some animals. In the first act alone, Farris has 15 costume changes. His favorite character to play is Petey Fisk.
“He's so ignorant,” Farris said. “He's just a poor, helpless little man.”
Thacker’s favorite character is The Reverend Spikes.
“He’s way over the top,” Thacker said. “He gives a five-minute sermon of nothing but clichés.”
“And they mean absolutely nothing,” Farris said. “It is so freaking funny.”
Thacker said every character in the play is recognizable.
“The crazy part of your family... that's what all these people are,” he said.
Thacker hasn’t been on stage since he starred in “Dr. Cook's Garden” in 2003. He admits to being nervous, but excited about his upcoming performances.
Farris has performed in several plays during the past two years, and still feels at home on stage.
“I get a kick out of getting on stage and making a fool of myself,” he said.
According to Robin Humphress, the lucky (or unlucky) producer, people should come watch just to see the spectacle that is Farris and Thacker.
“It's a very funny show,” she said. “It's the extremes of a small town. The characters... they're over the top.”
G.B. Dixon, the director, said people should at least come watch out of sympathy for “two old codgers.”
“I like coming to watch grand masters of the theater re-create a masterpiece,” he said while Farris groaned in the background. “The most fun is watching Mr. Farris screw up.”
“It's routine, actually,” Thacker said. “But they still think it's funny.”
I urge everyone to come out and watch Farris and Thacker on Feb. 28, March 1 or March 2 in Angelic Hall at Centre Square. I watched these two men perform numerous plays in the past, and I can’t wait to watch them perform together again. Their interaction on and off stage is hysterical.
And, if for no other reason, come watch just to see Farris in a dress.
I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Maybe a little nauseous, but not disappointed.
Greater Tuna is back Feb. 28, March 1-2!
Lynn Farris and Mike Thacker, both well known, long-time residents of Marion County, come together to bring you a day in the life of Tuna, Texas.
This tour de farce of quick change artistry is a long-running Off Broadway hit featuring two actors creating 20 eccentric characters that hilariously represent, or misrepresent, people we have all known.
Thursday, Feb. 28
Friday, March 1
Saturday March 2
Angelic Hall, Centre Square, Lebanon
All tickets are $8, and can be purchased at Farmers National Bank, the Lebanon Tourist & Convention Commission or at the door.
For more information, contact (270) 402-2196