Lend Me a Tenor
Lend Me a Tenor – Theater Review
On the biggest night in the history of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, world-famous tenor Tito Morelli is to perform Otello, his greatest role. Through a hilarious series of mishaps, Tito is given a double dose of tranquilizers, causing his pulse to drop so low that the opera house manager believes him to be dead. The comic plot builds from there.
Lend Me a Tenor was written by Ken Ludwig, who has written a lot of musicals, including Moon over Buffalo that had Carol Burnett in it, 20th Century with Alec Baldwin, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Treasure Island. So he’s done a lot of stuff that really did very well. This one is certainly no exception and is apparently one of his most successful plays. It won the Drama Desk Award for best musical and it won two Tony awards with Phillip Bosco. This one is just such fun. It’s got a great cast. Justin Bartha from The Hangover plays Max, Tony Shalloub from Monk plays Saunders, the impresario. Tito Merelli, the tenor, is Anthony LaPaglia; his crazy wife is Jan Maxwell in full diva form. Brooke Adams plays Julia. So it’s a great cast, great costumes, and what was really surprising is how well Anthony Lapaglia and Justin Bartha can actually sing. How fun is that? The farce is great. It’s actually directed by Stanley Tucci. This is just great entertainment. You’ll love the fact that there are projectiles whether wax grapes, miscellaneous pills, etc that actually go careening into the audience. I was in row D, which is the row that most of the stuff hit, in case you’re interested. So that’s the row to go to if you’re looking for some souvenir from the play. But the best souvenir would be just a smile on your face. This is really a crowd pleaser, but great fun as well. People doing farce that you’re not used to seeing doing farce, and doing it very well. What fun. Four stars.