John Treacy Egan, Jill Paice, and More Set to Lead LEND ME A TENOR at Paper Mill Playhouse
Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director) has just announced the cast for its winter comedy, Ken Ludwig's Lend Me a Tenor. This hysterically funny, door-slamming comedy will feature Broadway stars and Paper Mill Playhouse favorites including: Judith Blazer (Maria), John Treacy Egan (Tito), Donna English (Diana), Nancy Johnston (Julia), David Josefsberg (Max), Michael Kostroff (Saunders), Jill Paice (Maggie) and Mark Price (Bellhop). Lend Me a Tenor will be directed by Don Stephenson. Lend Me a Tenor will run at the Millburn, New Jersey, theater from February 13 through March 10, 2013. The official press opening is Sunday, February 17, at 7:00pm.
Nominated for nine Tony Awards, winner of three Drama Desk Awards and the Olivier Award for Best Comedy of the Year, Lend Me a Tenor is a wildly entertaining farce. The renowned tenor "Il Stupendo" is scheduled to sing the lead in the opera Otello. Chaos ensues when his wife mistakenly leaves him a "Dear John" letter and the distraught singer is accidentally given a double dose of tranquilizers. What follows is a laugh-out-loud chain reaction of mistaken identity, farcical plot twists, double entendres, and musical mayhem. The New York Times calls Ken Ludwig's Lend Me a Tenor "one of the two great farces by a living writer."
Lend Me a Tenor will be performed eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance Schedule: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Single tickets are on sale now and range from $26 to $97. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Lend Me a Tenor is proudly sponsored by American Airlines.
Broadway powerhouse Judith Blazer will play the role of Maria. Ms. Blazer was seen on Broadway in Lovemusik, 45 Seconds from Broadway, Titanic, Me and My Girl and A Change in the Heir. Off Broadway credits include: Whida Peru: Resurrection Tangle; NYC Opera's Sweeney Todd and Candide; The Torch-Bearers; Hurrah at Last; Bernarda Alba and Hello Again. You may have seen Ms. Blazer on television in Law and Order, As the World Turns, Guiding Light, Bernstein's New York, and In Performance at the White House. Ms. Blazer has appeared in numerous Paper Mill Playhouse productions, including her celebrated performance as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.
John Treacy Egan will portray Tito Merelli. Mr. Egan appeared on Broadway in Sister Act (Joey), The Little Mermaid (Chef Louis), The Producers (Max Bialystock, Roger DeBris, Franz Liebkind), Jekyll & Hyde, and Bye Bye Birdie. On television Mr. Egan appeared in Boardwalk Empire, Nurse Jackie, 30 Rock, Cupid and Law & Order. Donna English of Montclair, NJ, returns to Paper Mill Playhouse as Diana following her critically acclaimed performance as Elsa Schraeder in The Sound of Music. English also appeared at Paper Mill Playhouse in Hairspray (Velma), Harold and Maude (Mrs. Chasen), and Meet Me in St. Louis (Anna Smith), among others. English's New York credits include Nice Work If You Can Get It; Madame X (2011 NYMF Outstanding Performance Award), Ruthless! (Drama Desk nomination); and Broadway, directed by George Abbott. Nancy Johnston will play Julia. Most recently Ms. Johnston appeared on Broadway in Elf. Other Broadway credits include The Secret Garden and the 2000 revival of The Music Man. Off Broadway credits include Jessica Gatewood in the world premiere of Splendora, Merrily We Roll Along, White Lies, Olympus on My Mind, and Encores' Allegro.
David Josefsberg of South Orange, NJ, will play the role of Max. On Broadway, Mr. Josefsberg appeared in LES MISERABLES, Grease and The Wedding Singer. Off Broadway Josefsberg appeared in Altar Boyz, Slut, and Rated P. Mr. Josefsberg is half of the comedy-music duo Joberg and Gurner, recently signed to Comedy Central Records. Michael Kostroff returns to Paper Mill Playhouse to play Saunders after his critically acclaimed performance as Thénardier in the 25th Anniversary production of LES MISERABLES. Kostroff is best known for his five seasons on HBO's The Wire, two seasons on Disney's Sonny with a Chance, and for his dozens of television guest appearances. Jill Paice, who appeared as Betty Haynes in Paper Mill Playhouse's production of Irving Berlin's White Christmas in 2011, returns to play Maggie. Paice appeared on Broadway in: The 39 Steps, A Little Night Music (Anne), Curtains (Niki Harris), The Woman in White (Laura Fairlie) and on the West End in Gone with the Wind (Scarlett O'Hara). Ms. Paice appeared Off Broadway in Death Takes a Holiday (Grazia), Tokio Confidential (Isabella) and Where's Charley? (Kitty, Encores!). Mark Price joins the Lend Me a Tenor cast as the Bellhop. Mr. Price has appeared in many Broadway shows, including Mary Poppins (Robertson Ay), Wonderful Town, All Shook Up (Dennis), Rocky Horror Show (Riff Raff), Mamma Mia! (Pepper), Dance of the Vampires (Boris), You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Paul Simon's The Capeman, Chicago, and Beauty and the Beast (Lefou).
Don Stephenson will direct Lend Me a Tenor. Stephenson appeared as John Adams in Paper Mill Playhouse's production of 1776. Mr. Stephenson directed Of Mice and Manhattan for the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center, Titanic at The Muny and Noises Off and The 39 Steps at the Flat Rock Playhouse, Titanic at the Hangar Theatre, and The Great Unknown for the New York Musical Theatre Festival. He directed critically acclaimed productions of Oleanna, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and the hit musical Doctors and Diseases at the Barter Theatre, which moved Off Broadway to The Players Theater. Other New York directing credits include Buck Simple (Garrick Gaieties), When Pigs Fly (Kaufman Theatre), Golden Voices (Symphony Space), Old Flames (Theatre-Studio Inc.) and a workshop of My Time of Day: The Music of Frank Loesser. Don has directed The Desperate Hours and Through All Kinds of Weather at the Clarence Brown Theatre and Sleeping Beauty at American Stage Festival.
The Lend Me a Tenor design team includes:
Scenic designer John Lee Beatty has designed sets for more than 70 Broadway productions since 1973, including The Apple Tree, The Color Purple, Crimes of the Heart, Doubt, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Wonderful Town, Footloose, Once Upon a Mattress, Chicago, The Most Happy Fella, Ain't Misbehavin' and Knock Knock. Beatty won Tony Awards for his designs of On The Twentieth Century and Talley's Folly and received 11 other nominations for his work. Beatty also has won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design four times and received 10 other Drama Desk nominations. Costumes will be designed by Wade Laboissonniere whose credits include The Story of My Life, 1776, Parade, LiberTy Smith, Sabrina Fair, Little Shop of Horrors, The Civil War, The Heavens Are Hung In Black, State of the Union and The Matchmaker. Lighting designer Stephen Terry has designed productions at theaters throughout the United States and has served as Associate Lighting Designer on Broadway. Sound designer Matt Kraus designed on Broadway for Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony and Liza's at the Palace...!. Hair design will be provided by Cookie Jordan (Broadway credits include: Fela!, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Lombardi, The Miracle Worker, A View from the Bridge and South Pacific).
Tom Helm (Music Coordinator) has conducted more than 40 productions for Paper Mill Playhouse, including The Sound of Music, Follies, Crazy for You (also on PBS), The Baker's Wife, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and She Loves Me. On Broadway: musical director of LES MISERABLES, Me and My Girl, the Brigadoon revival, musical supervisor of the play-with-music Souvenir with Judy Kaye, as well as some performances of Cats. Gary Mickelson (Broadway's Memphis, Gypsy, Company) will serve as Production Stage Manager.
"Lend Me a Tenor is the perfect cure for the winter blues," remarked Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director for Paper Mill Playhouse. "It is no wonder that this play was hailed by The New York Times as 'one of the funniest farces to ever appear on Broadway.' Lend Me a Tenor is one of the most hilarious comedies ever written, and we are thrilled to bring it to New Jersey with this all-star cast."
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos