BWW Review: A COMEDY OF TENORS at Granite Theatre

BWW Review: A COMEDY OF TENORS at Granite Theatre

Fun, fabulous and a little frisky

The laughs start just minutes into The Granite Theatre's current production of A Comedy of Tenors and they are nonstop until the show ends. The audience barely has time to catch their breath - nevermind the actors! -during this energetic and fun show directed by Lee Rush.

The 2015 play by Ken Ludwig relates the hysteria, big egos, misunderstandings and mistaken identity that threaten to derail a high profile three-tenors concert in 1930s Paris, revisiting some of the characters Ludwig first introduced in Lend Me a Tenor (1986). The Granite's version is all about the laughs - and not about the music, as the titular tenors do not sing in this production.

Keith Eugene Brayne is absolutely fabulous in a double role as Tito, the temperamental superstar tenor as well as his happy-go-lucky doppelgänger, Beppo the Belhop, never once dropping his comic accent and flawlessly swapping between the roles with lightning-fast exits and entrances and facial expressions that clearly defined each character.

He is part of a stellar cast that works so well together in this high-energy, fast-paced show.

As Mimi, Danielle Conti deftly executes a surprising bit of physical comedy in her spirited performance of Tito's rebellious daughter.

Fergus Milton plays Saunders the greedy concert promoter. Milton gives this character a frenzied nature that serves the comedy well.

Lydia Fascia portrays Russian femme fatale soprano, Raçon, with the right blend of sexiness and humor.

As Tito's wife Maria, Veronica Strickland plays Tito's wife, Maria, with commanding presence and plenty of sass. She complements Brayne's Tito well, especially in their argument scenes.

Rounding out the cast are Nicholas Lombardo as Carlo, Mimi's secret boyfriend, an upcoming tenor and threat to Tito, who takes the brunt of Tito's animosity; and Tom Steenburg as Max, always calm at the center of the storm.

The play ends with an odd addition, which retells the entire story in mime to a recording of the Sabre Dance from Aram Khachaturian's Gayane ballet. It's awkward at first, but enjoyable and well executed.

Make this show a part of your summer plans and you won't be disappointed.

A Comedy of Tenors runs through July 22 at the Granite Theatre in Westerly, RI. www.granitetheatre.com

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From This Author Barb Burke

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