BWW Previews: LEND ME A TENOR at Old Opera House
A fast-paced and famously funny show about a crazy night at the opera, Lend Me A Tenor opens at the Old Opera House this weekend.Directed by Susan Thornton, Ken Ludwig's famous farce Lend Me A Tenor portrays one crazy time at the Cleveland Grand Opera Company. World famous tenor Tito Merelli is coming to perform as Othello in a one-night only benefit performance in Cleveland, Ohio in 1934. The opera manager, Saunders and his timid assistant, Max, are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the superstar. Through a series of misunderstandings, involving Max's girlfriend, Tito's wife and a bellhop, Tito is accidentally given a double dose of sleeping pills. Believing he is dead, Saunders convinces Max to impersonate the operatic tenor and sing as Othello in the performance that evening. A chaotic cast of zany characters, mistaken identities and plenty of sexual innuendos ensue.
"It is truly funny, in fact, very funny and it is a rather brilliant construction. It took great skill to write a script that holds together with all the ins and outs of a rather intricate plot. The dialogue is masterful and highly entertaining" said Jeff Czerbinski, who plays Tito.
"The only way the comedy works is when the lines come out fast and the audience can understand them" said Tim Phillips, who plays Saunders.
"The challenge for me, is keeping the pacing. This is a comedy and though it has to be fast it has to make sense to an audience. Keeping it fresh and new every time is the biggest challenge" said Ed Conn, who plays Max.
The comedic farce relies on quick timing and physical humor for many of the jokes.
"Since this is a farce, timing is crucial and it is so cool when it all starts working. We have to make entrances right after someone exits with no way of seeing them. It's all about timing and listening for a door to open or close" said Christine Brewer, who plays Diana.
"Things may appear chaotic onstage, but they're actually very specific. That's what makes it's funny. For me personally, farces come down to three times: timing, lines and doors. Knowing your lines and timing of the delivery, the time of the entrances and exits and reactions is crucial to making the show funny. And the doors: there are six doors in this show. You have to get the timing of another person's exit down so you can enter just as they're leaving without them seeing you. Doors being shut, doors staying open, which way the door opens, even how you close the door!" said Ashley Hall, who plays Maggie
The cast enjoyed working as a team to make the outrageous comedy as funny as possible.
"We're working with such a talented cast and everyone is so creative and good in their roles. I love doing comedies because there's always laughter, onstage and off. Everyone has to work together to make something funny" said Hall.
"This has been my first experience with the Old Opera House and I've been blown away by the level of talent that has challenged and humbled me. I feel privileged to work with my fellow actors and the level of class and professionalism they exude. The theatre itself and its management are top-notch and I'm glad to have this opportunity to work here" said Phillips.
The cast of Lend Me A Tenor are ready to share the hilarity with an audience this weekend.
"This is pure escape theatre. No heavy message, just a chance to see a fun farce of a show" said Phillips.
"If you're looking for a good laugh, fun, an amazingly fun cast, beautiful set, and great costumes, then you'll need to come see "Lend Me a Tenor"!" said Conn.Lend Me A Tenor also features Tia DeMedici as Maria, Daniel Speis as the Bellhop and Jen George as Julia. Lend Me A Tenor runs Friday, September 8 at 8:00 PM, Saturday, September 9 at 8:00 PM, Sunday, September 10 at 2:30 PM, Friday, September 15 at 8:00 PM, Saturday, September 16 at 8:00 PM and Sunday, September 17 at 2:30 PM at the Old Opera House, 204 North George Street, Charles Town, WV, 25414. Tickets are $22.00 for adults and $19.00 for students and seniors. For more info, please visit http://www.oldoperahouse.org/ Photo Credit: Old Opera House