The Pelican Playhouse has made a point to single out its upcoming production as a “PG-rated” play — a lurch toward somewhat adult material for a family-friendly community theater that prides itself on all-ages productions. For the Pelican diehards, this might seem like Dylan going electric, a blasphemous break with tradition. For the rest of us, though, it’s a great opportunity to see a caustically funny satire of backward culture that has proved even more prophetic in 30-plus years since it debuted in Austin.
Greater Tuna, set in the fictional, tiny town of Tuna, Texas, lampoons the attitudes of its small-minded, gun-toting, race-baiting, porn-censoring residents — all of whom, young or old, male or female, are portrayed by two middle-aged men in an array of elaborate costumes. Each actor will play at least ten characters in this marathon of cultural stereotypes, from drunken UFOlogists and local Klan leaders to used-gun shop owners and members of the Smut Snatchers of the New Order; one of them will even play a dog. With Greater Tuna, the Pelican may come perilously close to reversing its time-honored motto: “Not theater with an edge, but theater with an ‘aww.’ ”
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Sept. 6. Continues through Sept. 15, 2013