Music Box Theatre, (4/04/2010 - 8/15/2010)

First Preview: Mar 12, 2010
Opening Date: Apr 04, 2010
Closing Date: Aug 15, 2010
Total Previews: 25
Total Performances: 153

Category: Play, Comedy, Farce, Revival, Broadway
Setting: A hotel suite in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1934.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President)

Produced by The Araca Group, Stuart Thompson, Carl Moellenberg, Rodney Rigby, Olympus Theatricals, Broadway Across America and The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President); Produced in association with Wendy Federman/Jamie deRoy/Richard Winkler, Lisa Cartwright, Spring Sirkin and Scott and Brian Zeilinger

Written by Ken Ludwig

Directed by Stanley Tucci; Assistant Director: Kristin McLaughlin

Scenic Design by John Lee Beatty; Costume Design by Martin Pakledinaz; Lighting Design by Kenneth Posner; Sound Design by Peter Hylenski; Hair and Wig Design by Paul Huntley; Make-Up Design by Joe Dulude, II; Associate Scenic Design: Kacie Hultgren; Associate Costume Design: Sarah Sophia Lidz; Associate Lighting Design: Aaron Spivey; Associate Sound Design: Keith Caggiano

General Manager: Stuart Thompson Productions and David Turner; Executive Producer: Amanda Watkins; Company Manager: Adam J. Miller

Production Manager: Juniper Street Productions and Kevin Broomell; Production Stage Manager: David O'Brien; Stage Manager: Rachel Wolff

Musical Supervisor: Patrick Vaccariello

Casting: MelCap Casting and David Caparelliotis; Dialect Coach: Stephen Gabis; General Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Marketing Direction: Type A Marketing; Interactive Marketing: The Araca Group; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.; Photographer: Joan Marcus

Opening Night Cast

Justin BarthaMax
assistant to Saunders
Anthony LaPagliaTito Merelli
a world-famous tenor, known to fans as Il Stupendo
Tony ShalhoubSaunders
Maggie's father, GM of The Cleveland Grand Opera Company
Brooke AdamsJulia
Chairman of the Opera Guild
Mary Catherine GarrisonMaggie
Max's girlfriend
Jay KlaitzBellhop
a bellhop
Jan MaxwellMaria
Tito's wife
Jennifer Laura ThompsonDiana
a soprano

Understudies: Jessie Austrian (Diana, Maggie), Tony Carlin (Saunders, Tito Merelli), Donna English (Julia, Maria) and Brian Sears (Bellhop, Max)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2010 Best Revival of a Play [nominee] 

Produced by The Araca Group, Stuart Thompson, Carl Moellenberg, Rodney Rigby, Olympus Theatricals, Broadway Across America and The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President); Produced in association with Wendy Federman/Jamie deRoy/Richard Winkler, Lisa Cartwright, Spring Sirkin and Scott and Brian Zeilinger

 2010 Best Featured Actress in a Play [nominee] 

Jan Maxwell

 2010 Best Costume Design of a Play [nominee] 

Martin Pakledinaz

Reviews


AP: "'Tenor's' foolishness undiminished in NY revival"

The frantic foolishness that fuels “Lend Me a Tenor” has not diminished in the two decades since the Ken Ludwig comedy’s initial New York appearance.

If anything, the play’s desperation quotient- a prime ingredient of any farce worth its belly laughs- has only increase in the show’s first Broadway revival, which opened Sunday a the Music Box Theatre.

The actors have amped up the agitation in this stylish production, directed a jet-propelled pace by Stanley Tucci. The angst in Ludwig’s convoluted plot revolves around a seemingly dead opera singer named Tito Merelli, known as Il Stupendo, whose apparent demise in a Cleveland hotel room before a gala performance of “Otello” must be covered up by a local opera impresario. What to do?

The opera company manger (Tony Shalhoub) decides to substitute his nerdy, bespectacled assistant (Justin Bartha), an aspiring opera singer, for the famous tenor. But Tito has not expired, and before you know it the tow men, in blackface, shaggy wigs and identical costumes, are causing considerable confusion.

Ludwig knows the mechanics of comedy, particularly how to set up a joke. And if not all of them land with bull’s-eye precision, the laughs build with increasing regularity as the mayhem intensifies.

Shalhoub’s emotionally explosive overbearing opera manager is a kissing cousin of Max Bialystock, of “The Producers,” and the actor bellows with a fine comic roar. Anthony LaPaglia as the hammy Tito, complete with cheesy Italian accent, preens with equal amounts of ego and lechery.

Jan Maxwell scores major laughs as Tito’s jealous wife, a spitfire who snarls with the intensity of a lioness protecting her cubs. The woman has reason to be suspicious- what with the seductive soprano (a sexy Jennifer Laura Thompson) and the young assistant’s intended (a Kewpie-doll perfect Mary Catherine Garrison) in eager pursuit of the famous singer.

Also in the cast are the lovely Brooke Adams, looking too young to be a Cleaveland society matron, and Jay Klaitz as an aggressive, strong-voiced bellhop who is a Tito groupie.

But what gives this production an unexpected boost is something not usually found in a farce- heart. That quality is supplied by Bartha, making his Broadway debut as the nervous would-be tenor. The actor is a superb farceur, at ease with the verbal complexity of the give-and-take dialogue and the physical demands of the role that having him bouncing around the stage.

Yet he also projects and appealing sweetness, even as the world around him collapses in chaos. In what is basically a parade of cartoon characters, Bartha’s neophyte singer is a hero to root for.

John Lee Beatty’s 1930’s hotel setting is opulent and doesn’t neglect the one design element required of every farce: a series of doors, which are slammed with increasing frequency as the evening progresses.

“Lend Me a Tenor” may not be Georges Feydeau, the French master of farce, but this American-grown homage provides more than enough laughter to keep Ludwig’s outlandish story spinning merrily.


AP
04/05/2010

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