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Tuna Does Vegas ends run this weekend

by: contributed photo Senior Nathan Doering, standing, plays Maurice and senior Elijah Sims plays Pearl in Reynolds High School’s production of “Tuna Does Vegas.” Final performances are Friday and Saturday, March 16-17.

Sydni Redmond, 15, a sophomore at Reynolds High School, wants everyone to know Elvis is in the house.

And Elvis is in the house.

Wait - that's two Elvises (Elvi?) whom you can get for the price of one in 'Tuna Does Vegas,' which the Theatre Arts Department at Reynolds premiered last weekend.

Redmond plays 'Blue Hawaii Elvis,' one of two Elvis imitators in the comedy, opposite an Elvis impersonator played by junior Brandon Rapozo sporting white stretch-pants.

'We're just like trying to figure out if we got double booked at a casino,' she says. She adds that she didn't know much about the king of rock 'n' roll until she had to play him. Now she's a huge fan.

'I just started to listen to different kinds of his music, and I started to love it,' she says, adding her favorite Elvis tune comes from his movie 'G.I. Blues,' in which he sings 'Pocketful of Rainbows.'

'I just think it's a pretty song, and it's true that you've got to have those rainy days to get the sunny ones,' she says.

Small town meets Sin City

'Tuna Does Vegas' is the story of polyester-clad Bertha Bumiller, played by senior Emily Brant, and radio DJ Arles Struvie, played by sophomore Jimmy Brown, who decide to head to Las Vegas to renew their wedding vows.

But Arles announces the trip on his conservative radio talk show, so nearly everyone in the town of Tuna decides to head to Sin City as well.

Brant says she loves the lines that come out of her character's mouth, including one she utters when she discovers her hotel bed can give a massage.

'Don't even mention it!' her character says. 'I never heard such a thing - sticking a coin in a slot and the whole bed shaking like a faith healer!'

Meanwhile, Petey Fisk (also played by Jimmy Brown) from the Greater Tuna Humane Society goes on a mission to find out if the white jungle cats in Vegas are really albinos or just the victims of bad dye jobs.

Joe Bob, played by senior Jeremy Verheyden, goes on the Rush Limbaugh diet, while Vera, played by sophomore Tabitha Card, and Pearl, played by Senior Elijah Sims, battle over slot machines.

Inita, played by Brant as well, and Helen, played by freshman Catherine Spaulding, from the local drive-in take a spin as showgirls.

'All they care about is cowboys, and that's pretty much it,' Brant says.

She adds that audiences last weekend seemed to enjoy the show.

'The audience was just super high-energy,' she says. 'They told us how much they loved it and how funny it was.'

If you go

WHAT: 'Tuna Does Vegas'

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17

WHERE: Black Box Theatre, Reynolds High School, 1698 S.W. Cherry Park Road, Troutdale

COST: $7

INFO: 503-667-3186