BWW Review: LEND ME A TENOR at Player's Guild Of Dearborn Delivers Plenty of Laughs!
Lend Me A Tenor at Player's Guild of Dearborn, running now until January 27th, is a rip-roaring show that will leave you laughing throughout the entire performance. This Ken Ludwig farce is set in September 1934. Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is primed to welcome the world-famous Tito Merelli, II Stupendo, the greatest tenor of his generation, to appear for one night only as "Otello." The star arrives late, and through a hilarious series of mishaps, is given a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out. His pulse is so low that Saunders and his assistant, Max, believe he's dead. In a frantic attempt to salvage the evening, Saunders persuades Max to get into Merelli's "Otello" costume and fool the audience into thinking he's II Stupendo. Max succeeds admirably, but Merelli comes to, and gets into his other costume ready to perform. Now two Otello's are running around in costume and two women are running around in lingerie, each thinking she is with II Stupendo.
Right from the opening curtain, audiences will be completely drawn into each of the characters in the show. The way that this ensemble of actor's maneuver on stage is nothing short of exceptional. The entire cast does a great job of mastering the comedic timing of this show and keeps the audience laughing throughout the entire performance of Lend Me A Tenor.
Damon Williams, playing Max, performed the role with such energy and sincerity. Williams was able to successfully take a daunting role and make it his own. The change in Williams' character persona throughout the course of the show was tremendous. Starting the show, he is very timid and unsure of himself, but near the end of the show after he admirably performs in place of Tito Merelli, he walks the stage with confidence and gusto. The energy and enthusiasm that Williams has on stage is wonderful.
Greg Viscomi, playing Tito Merelli, was believable from the minute he stepped on stage. Viscomi really shined throughout the entirety of the second act as he deals with the repercussions of everybody thinking he was the tenor that sang that night. He notably has a very true Italian accent throughout the entire show, which adds to the credibility of his character. Perfectly timed facial expressions at key moments in the show adds to the hilarity that ensues.
Another notable performance was Kori Bielaniec who played Tito Merelli's wife, Maria. Bielaniec had a strong confidence about her on stage that really helped to exemplify the snarky and confrontational personality of Maria.
One thing is for certain, if you are looking for a great evening full of laughter and entertainment, Lend Me A Tenor is the show for you!
Lend Me A Tenor is directed by Karen Pritchard with Paul Woodin as Vocal Coach/ Musical Director. The production team includes Karen Prusiewicz as Assistant Director with Richard Moore and Kristen Campbell as co-producers. The cast of Lend Me A Tenor includes William E. McCloskey (Saunders), Chris Martin (the Bellhop), Julie Ballantyne-Brown (Maggie), Sue DeLoiser (Julia), and Jazzmin Sharara (Diana).
Lend Me A Tenor is currently running until January 27th at Player's Guild of Dearborn in Dearbon. For more information and tickets, you can call 313.561.TKTS or visit playersguildofdearborn.org.
*Show information courtesy of Player's Guild of Dearborn.