By Roxanne Delage
CORNWALL, Ontario – The Upper Canada Playhouse recently raised the curtain on the third show of its regular summer season, the very funny Lend Me A Tenor, by Ken Ludwig.
A great combination of style and silliness, the play is set in 1934 Cleveland, where world-famous tenor, Tito Morelli is scheduled to appear for a one-night-only performance of Otello.
After arriving late and inadvertently taking too many tranquilizers, a plan is hatched to have the assistant manager of the opera perform the epic role.
When the real Morelli wakes, there are soon two Otello’s caught up in a mess of female fans, a jealous wife and irate police.
As usual, director, Donnie Bowes, has put together for us a who’s who of audience favourites, including Sheldon Davis (Not Now Darling and The Foursome), who plays famous opera singer, Tito Merelli; Parris Greaves (Having Hope at Home and The Amorous Ambassador) as Max the assistant, who is coaxed into playing the opera star at the last minute; Susan Greenfield, as Maria, Tito’s quick-tempered wife; Anna Marie Lea (Cow Patti Theatre Company) as the flirtatious Diana; Liz Gilroy (Not Now Darling and A Nice Family Gathering), as Maggie, the opera manager’s daughter who’s enamoured with Tito; Patti Kazmer (The Cemetery Club) as Julia, an opera board member who follows the opera star’s every move; Doug Tangney as the enthusiastic bellhop; and finally, making his Playhouse debut, Ed Sahely, as the opera manager.
Entertaining from top to bottom, some of the many great moments in the show, include the explosive entrance of Tito (Davis) and his wife (Greenfield); an impressive musical number between Tito and Max (Greeves); and the fast-motion recap of the entire play at the curtain call – just to name a few. Again, as always, the set and costumes are a visual delight.
Coming up next at the Playhouse: On A First Name Basis, by and starring Norm Foster, runs from September 4 to 28; Memories of Rock & Roll (from the producers of Memories of the Summer of Love), October 16 to 26; and Lights, Camera… Christmas! … The TV Christmas Special That Nearly Never Was, by Jesse Collins, from November 27 to December 14.
Lend Me a Tenor runs from July 31 to August 24 at the Upper Canada Playhouse in Morrisburg, with matinee and evening performances.
For further information or to book your tickets, call 613-543-3713/1-877-550-3650, or visit www.uppercanadaplayhouse.com.