Timing is everything. Comic timing, that is! Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor is one of the funniest comedies ever written. Ludwig’s hilarious farce opens this Friday, August 13, at Arizona Broadway Theatre where it will play in classic repertory fashion with the just opened I love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Perfect timing!
The Examiner opened its review for I love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change stating, “It may be the last show of its current fifth season season but Arizona Broadway Theatre’s I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is one of the best new productions playing in the Valley and a happy harbinger of great things to come as ABT heads towards it new season beginning in October.”
In Lend Me a Tenor, Ken Ludwig has written a crackpot comedy worthy of comic masters Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder or Howard Hawks. Set in the far away world of 1934 Cleveland, it is an evening filled with mistaken identity, double entendre, innuendo and endless, loud slamming doors.
L-R (front) Hernades, Rio, Errigo, L-R (back) Rudolph, Springer
Arizona Broadway Theatre’s Executive Producer and Co-Founder Kiel Klaphake is directing Ludwig’s madcap farce and he has populated the play with some of the funniest actors you are likely to see. Creating havoc and merry mayhem in Depression Cleveland are Maris Fernandes, Michael Wolter, James Rio, Morgan Springer, Roy Hunt, David Errigo, Jr., Morgan Rudolph and Carolyn McPhee. The play will have sets by Dori Brown and costumes by Laura Wirth. This is also the first non-musical to play the stages of ABT. You can be sure there will be no Great Depression apparent while Klaphake’s slaphappy cast runs rampantly amok in Ken Ludwig’s Lend me a Tenor.
Lend Me a Tenor, originally titled Opera Buffa, was first produced at the American Stage Festival where it came to the attention of English director David Gilmore who then asked to direct it. The play was produced in London’s West End by Andrew Lloyd Webber, opening on March 6, 1986 at the Globe Theatre, where it ran for ten months, closing on January 10, 1987. It was nominated for the Olivier Award for Comedy of the Year.
Now thru September 19
The Broadway production, directed by Jerry Zaks opened on March 2, 1989 at the Royale Theatre, where it ran for 476 performances. The cast included Philip Bosco, Victor Garber, Ron Holgate, Tovah Feldshuh, Caroline Lagerfelt, and Jane Connell. Lend Me a Tenor was nominated for seven 1982 Tony Awards, winning one for Best Actor in a Play for Bosco. It was also nominated for six 1982 Drama Desk Awards, winning four, Outstanding Actor in a Play (Bosco), Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play (Feldshuh), Outstanding Director of a Play and Outstanding Costume Design.
A Broadway revival of Lend Me a Tenor opened this Spring at the Music Box Theatre on April 4, 2010, directed by Stanley Tucci. The new production received rave reviews and was nominated for three Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Play. The all star cast included Anthony LaPaglia, Justin Bartha, Jan Maxwell, Tony Shalhoub and Brooke Adams. Sadly, the show was forced to close prematurely on August 15 because three of its main stars’ contracts had expired and they chose to depart the production (LaPaglia, Bartha, and Shalhoub). So much for the show must go on!
Graphic artwork and photo by Joseph Martinez, courtesy of Arizona Broadway Theatre.
For additional information regarding I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and Lend Me a Tenor ticket availability and/or repertory performance schedule, please contact the Arizona Broadway Theatre Box Office directly, either by phone at (623) 776 8400 or ON LINE.