Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lend Me a Tenor hits all the right notes. The show opens Feb. 12 at Imagination Theater in Placerville

Lend Me a Tenor  is a lighthearted and breathlessly zany production full of door-slamming physical comedy and hilariously improbable escapades.  The year is 1934, and the Cleveland Grand Opera Company is celebrating its tenth anniversary season by welcoming a very special guest star to its humble stage. The great Tito Merelli has graciously agreed to headline the Opera's gala performance of Otello, but the world-famous tenor's appearance in Cleveland is ill-fated from the start.
After a late arrival by train and an explosive argument with his wife, the stressed Merelli accidentally ingests a double dose of sedative pills and settles into such a deep sleep that he is mistaken for dead. With thousands of charitable dollars on the line, it falls to Max, the company's long suffering assistant and an aspiring opera singer, to disguise himself as Merelli and convince a discerning auditorium full of well-heeled patrons that he is the renowned and long-awaited tenor. Naturally, the real Merelli revives just in time to don a spare costume and hustle off to the theater for Otello's curtain. With two Otellos dashing through hotel hallways pursued by three lovelorn women, Merelli's irate wife, the company's harried manager, and a star-struck bellhop, mayhem of the most entertaining kind soon descends on the Cleveland Grand Opera.
Lend Me a Tenor features iconic aspects of screwball comedy: a classic case of mistaken identity, witty repartee and zinging one-liners, the closely guarded secret of Merelli's "death," and an impressive display of door slamming that keeps the characters darting in and out of hallways, closets, and bathrooms throughout the show. 
The company's comedic skills make for laugh-out-loud scenes, but parents should note that Lend Me a Tenor has some coarse language and is laced with some double entendre and innuendo. While played for laughs, these aspects make the production unsuitable for young children.
(Excerpt from a Lend Me a Tenor article from Ocean State Theatre)