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BWW Review: A COMEDY OF TENORS at McCarter Theatre Center

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Ken Ludwig's A Comedy of Tenors, simply put, was brilliant. The production opened had its opening night at McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton to a packed house on October 16. This superb play runs through November 1.

Stephen Wadsworth directed this classic farce, complete with slamming doors, dueling tenors, and physical comedy. Throw in a scantily clad young woman falling over a balcony, and you have something for everyone.

The setting is a five-star hotel in Paris, France. It's 1936, and a concert in which three of greatest tenors of their time are scheduled to perform. Only egos, mistaken identity, and misinterpretation of an overheard conversation get in the way.

The script flows fluidly, the pace is lively, and there are many instances where you'll just laugh out loud. The rest of the time, you'll smile. There were moments of sheer brilliance, especially the introduction of the young lovers in the cast.

Bradley Dean, brilliantly played aging tenor Tito "Il Stupendo" Merelli ,opining his loss of adulation from young female fans. Ron Orlach, as producer Henry Saunders of this expected opera, was sensational, particularly when displaying his pleasure of witnesses an impromptu hotel room performance of the three tenors. His overhearing a conversation and misinterpreting an innocent action between his wife and his daughter's lover propel the farce to higher levels of comedy.

The entire cast was magnificent, demonstrating uncanny comedic timing and excellent physical comedy. Audience members could see pieces of themselves, ones they love or people they know in each of the distinctive characters.

The set design was perfect, down to the view of the Eiffel Tower. You'll wonder how can so many doors be slammed so hard and have no effect on the structure.

This play is a must see; even more than once.

Cast of characters (in order of speaking): Saunders: Ron Orlach; Max: Rob McClure; Maria: Antionette LaVecchia; Tito: Bradley Dean; Bobby Conte Thorton; Mimi: Kristen Martin; Tatiana Racon: Lisa Brescia

Playwright: Ken Ludwig; director: Stephen Wadsworth; Set design: Charlie Corcoran; costume design: William Ivey Long; lighting design: David Lander; sound design: Joshua Horvath; fight director: Shad Ramsey; wig design: Wigs and Wispers; casting director: David Caparelliotis, Caparelliotis Casting; production stage manager: Alison Cote; assistant stage manager: Tom Humes; associate artistic director: Adam Immerwahr;

Director of production: David York; artistic director: Emily Mann; managing director: Timothy J. Shields.

A Comedy of Tenors is playing at the McCarter Theater Centre, located at 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ, through November 1. Ticket information can be found at www.McCarter.org or by calling the Box Office at 609-258-2787.

Photo Credit: Roger Mastroianni


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