Photos by Michael Brunk
From left to right, Dixie Deberry (played by Buddy Mahoney) gets a bead with her slingshot on a marauding blue jay while Pearl Burras (Jay Jenkins) eggs her on. SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE

SLIDESHOW: BLT Christmas production is crude, rude and hilarious

You haven’t really experienced Christmas until you’ve seen it through the eyes of all 22 characters living in the small quirky town of Tuna, Texas.

“A Tuna Christmas,” Burien Little Theatre’s latest holiday show, is a not-so-subtle comedic farce where two brave actors, Jay Jenkins and Buddy Mahoney each play 11 distinct roles--costume changes and all.

It’s a dazzling spectacle that boggles the mind thinking about how quickly Jenkins, Mahoney and BLT’s stage crew have to work to switch from costume to costume.

Written by Jaston William, Joe Sears and Ed Howard, “A Tuna Christmas” is the sequel to “Greater Tuna” and is followed by “Red White and Tuna.”

The main characters should be familiar by now: The two disc jockeys at the politically incorrect radio station OKKK; Bertha, the anti-smut crusader; R.R. Snavley, the UFO enthusiast; Pearl, the sassiest old lady you’ll ever encounter who was once a Rosie the Riveter; Didi Snavley, the gun-toting wife of R.R.; Vera Carp, the 14-time defending Christmas Yard Display Contest champion and plenty others.

Each of these characters doesn’t just reinforce social stereotypes; they lovingly embrace them.

The story revolves around the numerous personal dramas surrounding all these characters on Christmas Eve.

There’s a Christmas Yard Display Contest that’s meaner and nastier than any political race you’ll ever see. There’s a mysterious criminal called the “Phantom” who’s wreaking havoc on people’s decorated lawns. There’s a production of “A Christmas Carol” that’s looking to be a disaster. There’s Bertha’s struggle to keep her dysfunctional family together during the holidays.

And of course, there may be a UFO sight or two.

But all this is to give these two actors a vehicle for showcasing their acting chops, high energy and frenetic creativity. Jenkins and Mahoney seamlessly transition from character to character and make you believe you just saw a play with 22 characters in it.

The writing is sharp, satirical and unapologetically silly. There are plenty of clever one-liners, cross-dressing and sight gags to keep you entertained throughout the show’s two-hour run. Afterward, you will feel just as exhausted as the two performers and their hardworking stage crew.

Director Timothy Kelly lets the two actors show off their talents by utilizing a single set, minimal set pieces, mimed props and one very funny wheelchair that will leave your belly aching. The costumes by Savannah Baltazar are rock solid and convincingly make all the female characters look and feel as feminine as possible.

Overall, like the holiday season, “A Tuna Christmas” is a quick paced frenzy of activity that will leave you with a smile on your face as you leave the theater. If you want an excuse to laugh at characters that are crude, rude and outrageous, Burien Little Theatre’s latest holiday show looks to be your best bet.

“A Tuna Christmas” runs from Nov. 23 through Dec. 16, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. This Sunday, Nov. 25, is Seven Dollar Sunday where all tickets cost $7. To purchase tickets, go to www.burienlittletheatre.org or call 206-242-5180. Burien Little Theatre is located at 14501 4th Ave. S.W.

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