McCarter Theatre Center to Stage World Premiere of Ken Ludwig's A COMEDY OF TENORS

After an opening run praised by both critics and audiences in the Cleveland area, McCarter Theatre Center will continue the 2015/2016 Theatre Season with the world-premiere co-production of Ken Ludwig's A Comedy of Tenors. Mr. Ludwig, one of theatres most accomplished comedic playwrights, returns to McCarter with this door-slamming comedic tour-de-force featuring some of the most beloved characters from his critically acclaimed and Tony Award-winning smash hit, Lend Me a Tenor. This production marks Mr. Ludwig's second McCarter production of 2015, after the record-breaking world premiere co-production of Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery in March. A Comedy of Tenors is a co-production with Cleveland Play House, and directed by Stephen Wadsworth, one of America's most influential directors of both opera and comedy. The Design Team includes Charlie Corcoran (Scenic Design), William Ivey Long (Costume Design), David Lander (Lighting Design), and Joshua Horvath (Sound Design).


About the Play

Amidst the glitz and glamour of 1930s Paris, producer - and former mayor of Cleveland - Henry Saunders (Ron Orbach) is attempting to stage the concert of the century with three of the world's greatest opera sensations. Straightaway, Saunders hits a snag when Italian superstar and notorious male diva, Tito Merelli (Bradley Dean), threatens to quit the show after finding his wife, the hot-blooded Maria (Antoinette Lavecchia), in the arms of another man (or so it would seem).

Reluctantly thrust into the action, Saunders' ex-assistant Max (Tony Award nominee Rob McClure) tries to navigate the situation as Tito and Maria's passionate and fiery relationship begins to cause chaos on an operatic level. Whirlwind appearances by Tito and Maria's daughter Mimi (Kristen Martin), heartthrob tenor Carlo (Bobby Conte Thornton) and Tito's old flame Tatiana (Lisa Brescia) turn the pressure up as opening night draws near.

A Comedy of Tenors is the follow-up to Ludwig's smash Lend Me a Tenor, which introduced audiences to some of the most hilarious and over the top characters on the stage. Frank Rich of the New York Times called the show "One of the two great farces by a living writer," and The Washington Post dubbed it "One of the classic comedies of the 20th century." Like its predecessor, A Comedy of Tenors promises remarkable physical humor, fast-paced dialogue, and laughs from beginning to end.

Ken Ludwig (Playwright) has had six shows on Broadway and seven in London's West End, and his plays and musicals have been performed in more than 30 countries in over 20 languages. His first play on Broadway, Lend Me A Tenor, which the Washington Post called "one of the classic comedies of the 20th century," won two Tony Awards and was nominated for seven. He has also won two Laurence Olivier Awards (England's highest theater honor), the Charles MacArthur Award, two Helen Hayes Awards, the Edgar Award for Best Mystery from The Mystery Writers of America, the SETC Distinguished Career Award, and the Edwin Forrest Award for Services to the American Theatre. His plays have been commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Bristol Old Vic. He has written 22 plays and musicals, including Crazy For You (five years on Broadway and the West End, Tony and Olivier Award Winner for Best Musical), Moon Over Buffalo (Broadway and West End), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Broadway), Treasure Island (West End), Twentieth Century (Broadway), Leading Ladies, Shakespeare in Hollywood, The Game's Afoot, The Fox on the Fairway, The Three Musketeers and The Beaux' Stratagem. His playBaskerville premiered at McCarter Theatre earlier this year. His newest book, How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare, won The Falstaff Award for Best Shakespeare Book of 2014 and is published by Random House. His plays have starred Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, Lynn Redgrave, Mickey Rooney, Hal Holbrook, Dixie Carter, Tony Shalhoub, Anne Heche, Joan Collins, and Kristin Bell. His work is published by the Yale Review, and he is a Sallie B. Goodman Fellow of McCarter Theatre. He holds degrees from Harvard, where he studied music with Leonard Bernstein, Haverford College, and Cambridge University. For more information, please visit www.kenludwig.com.

Stephen Wadsworth (Director) has directed at McCarter for over 23 years, including his own translations of three Marivaux comedies and Molière's Don Juan (for which he was decorated by the government of France), his translations of Beaumarchais' Figaro plays and Goldoni'sMirandolina, as well as Private Lives, Design for Living, and Francesca Faridany's Fräulein Else. He was a 2015 McCarter/Sallie B. Goodman playwrighting fellow. New York: Master Class (MTC),Impossible Marriage (Roundabout), Rodelinda, Iphigénie en Tauride, Boris Godunov (Metropolitan Opera). London: Alcina, Master Class. Opera in Milan, Vienna, London, Edinburgh, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Seattle (Wagner's Ring); theater throughout the US. He wroteA Quiet Place with Leonard Bernstein (Grammy nomination) and is The James S. Marcus Faculty Fellow at The Juilliard School.


William Ivey Long (Costume Design) is a 6 time Tony Award winning costume designer. For Stephen Wadsworth, he designed A Quiet Place / Trouble in Tahiti by Leonard Bernstein at La Scala, Vienna Staatsoper, and Abduction from the Seraglio at the San Francisco Opera. He also designed the original Broadway production of Lend Me A Tenor (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards) and Crazy For You (Tony and Outer Critics Circle Awards) for Ken Ludwig. Select Broadway credits include: Chicago, now in its 19th year; Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Grey Gardens; The Producers; Hairspray; Nine. He recently made his Metropolitan Opera debut with his designs for The Merry Widow. Mr. Long has been nominated for 15 Tony Awards. He was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2005, and elected Chairman of The American Theatre Wing in June, 2012. www.williamiveylong.com.

About McCarter Theatre Center
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Emily Mann and Managing Director Timothy J. Shields, McCarter Theatre Center is recognized as one of the nation's premier theater companies. Renowned for major contributions to the theatrical canon, McCarter premieres include Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play) and Miss Witherspoon (both commissions); Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brother/Sister Plays; Will Power's Fetch Clay, Make Man (commission); Edward Albee's Me, Myself & I (commission); Emily Mann's Having Our Say; Danai Gurira's The Convert; Beth Henley's Ridiculous Fraud (commission); Regina Taylor's Crowns (commission); Dael Orlandersmith's Yellowman (commission); Athol Fugard's Valley Song; and Stephen Wadsworth's Marivaux trilogy. McCarter has also produced major new productions of Brian Friel's Translations, directed by Garry Hynes; Nilo Cruz's Anna in the Tropics and Edward Albee's All Over, directed by Emily Mann; and Electra, directed by David Leveaux. McCarter is supported by Princeton University, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and over 3,000 individuals, corporations, and foundations. McCarter Theatre is located at 91 University Place in Princeton, NJ. For more information, www.mccarter.org.

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