Lend Me a Tenor Opens Friday, March 21st

The Missoula Community Theatre’s next offering is Lend Me A Tenor, but don’t let the name fool you; this is not a musical comedy.  It is definitely a comedy, though, about a musical—an opera, to be exact.

This fast-paced, screwball comedy was written by Ken Ludwig, an American playwright.  The New York Daily News said that “Ken Ludwig’s 1989 Tony-winning comedy is one of only two classic farces by a living playwright, the other being Michael Frayn’s frenetic Noises Off.”

Lend Me A Tenor is set in 1934, a time just after Prohibition and just prior to the worst of the Great Depression and the rise of the Third Reich.  TJ Charlson, the show’s director, pointed out the significance of that small window of time for comedic expression in American history.  Charlson also commented that, “As each new cast makes a script come to life, that cast also infuses its personality into a production. Thus, each time a script is produced it evolves into its own unique living art form.

Lend Me a Tenor Missoula Communty Theatre.

(Left to Right) Howard Kingston, Linda Muth, Bridget Smith, Alhan Diaz-Correa, and Michael DeGrandpre. Photo by MeganStanke.

 

The one consistency with Lend Me A Tenor, no matter where it is produced, no matter the professional level of the venue, is the curtain call. The playwright, has created a brilliant addition to his extremely well-crafted play.

The first show that I directed for MCT was Amadeus in 1993.  Jim Caron, MCT’s Executive Director at the time, shared with me his opinion that curtain calls are for the audience, a time for the more passive participants of the event to express some of their emotions back to the performers. However, for Lend Me A Tenor, the curtain call is one more opportunity for the cast. It is almost like the dessert after a very nice meal.”

The plot revolves around the Cleveland Opera Company’s production of Otello, for which they have hired a famous Italian tenor “Tito Merelli” (played by Tully Thibeau) as a guest artist.  The short-tempered general manager of the company is “Saunders” (played by Howard Kingston), who stops at nothing to make sure the show goes on.

Lend me a Tenor Missoula Community Theatre

Alhan Diaz-Correa, Bridget Smith and Linda Muth. Photo by MeganStanke.

 

Six additional cast members find themselves in a series of mishaps, mistaken identities, slamming doors, and adult entanglements (tastefully portrayed, but adult situations nonetheless).  Be advised that the material in the play is for mature audiences only and not suitable for children.

Tickets are on sale now!  Lend Me A Tenor plays March 21-23 and 26-30, 2014 at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts.  Wednesday-Saturday night performances begin at 7:30 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday matinees begin at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m.  Ticket prices range from $15.00-$21.00 and can be purchased at the MCT box office (200 North Adams), online at www.MCTinc.org, or by calling (406) 728-7529.  All seats are reserved.  This production is sponsored by University Motors and DIRECTV.

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