Last weekend, my husband and I went on one of our periodic dates…to a performance of A Tuna Christmas at the American Heartland Theatre. Several years ago, we had seen the original Greater Tuna and just about laughed ourselves silly…enjoying the quick costume and character changes as well as the gentle humor poked at small-town living.
I was expecting something similar with this play…and it was there, but so was more that really touched me in a different way. It wasn’t all lightness and sweetness and split-your-side-laughter. There was also an awareness that families are touched by tragedies even in the most joyous of times–that behind smiling facades are often hurting people who just keep going because they don’t know what else to do. And yet there is an eternal hope that keeps them thinking that one day things will be better…
An undercurrent to this performance was that about a week before we went, one of the understudies was found murdered in his car–and at this point there’s no idea who or why.
And so, while I went expecting an evening of somewhat mindless entertainment, instead I found myself being reminded that I need to look behind the masks that people wear…be willing to hear what’s not being said…and help each one find the hope that allows us all to keep going.