The setting won’t be Tuna, Texas, but the MSC OPAS virtual presentation of I Saw the Lights should be delightful. Starring Jaston Williams, one-half of the Greater Tuna quartet legends, I Saw the Lights will premiere at 7 p.m. Jan. 29 and will be available to stream for 48 hours only.
Tickets for the special event are $25, or $35 for a VIP ticket that includes a question-and-answer session with Williams after the performance. Tickets are available at www.MSCOPAS.org.
OPAS Executive Director Anne Black said, “Our patrons have a wonderful connection to Jaston through his many performances in Rudder as part of the Tuna series. He’s a remarkable performer and a gifted comedic and dramatic actor.
“We are thrilled to partner with our Texas presenter contemporaries to offer this virtual premiere of his one-man tour-de-force on January 29.”
An OPAS press release said, “When mysterious lights appeared over Lubbock, Texas, in 1951, people wondered aloud whether they were part of some government plot, an invasion by the Russians or just seeing space aliens out to abduct Francine Whitharrel’s Persian cat.
“In I Saw the Lights, you will hear from the preacher with too much sense of humor, the hippie whose girlfriend longs to become a Comanche, a socialite from Connecticut who holds grudges against trees, and the cowboy with a chronic fear of water. All in all, nine variant characters are drawn together by the inexplicable and are forever bonded through their humanity and humor.”
Of course, Williams portrays all of the characters in his one-man show. OPAS audiences will remember Williams’ Tuna characters, including Vera Carp, Petey Fisk, Didi Snavely and Charlene, Jody and Stanley Bumiller, among others. Williams and his huskier partner Joe Sears brought the various Tuna productions to Rudder Auditorium numerous times. It is hard to believe that the original production of Greater Tuna was 39 years ago.
I Saw the Lights was filmed at the State Theatre in Austin.
Williams is the recipient of the Marquee Award for lifetime achievement in the arts from the League of Historic American Theatres, the Texas Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts and the 2013 Texas Medal of the Arts.
The virtual performance is sponsored by Nikki Pederson Talent Network, Premier Properties and West, Webb, Allbritton & Gentry.