“Tenor” Lends Itself to Cumberland County College

By Michael Lopergolo

Staff Writer

What happens when you throw a primadonna Opera singer, an executive director with an anger problem, and a hyper active bellhop into a hotel room and add what the FPAC program calls “a chain reaction of mistaken identities, plot twists, double entendres, innuendos, and constant entrances and exits”? You get the over the top comedy Lend Me a Tenor. From Friday, November 20th to Sunday, November 22nd, the Humanities Division of CCC will present our campus with the misadventures of Max Garber and Henry Saunders as they attempt to get through the most important night of their lives and not go to jail while trying.

“It’s fast paced, very funny” said Director and Broadway veteran Deborah Bradshaw. “Even though it’s set in 1939 it translates well.” Originally titled Opera Buffa, “Tenor” was first developed at a summer theater, American Stage Festival. Famous English composer Andrew Lloyd Webber produced the show. It eventually made its way into the heart of London’s theatre district, where it opened on March 6, 1986.

It ran for ten months, closing on January 10, 1987. In 1989, the show debuted on Broadway at the Royale Theatre where it ran for 476 performances. Lend Me a Tenor has since then won four Drama Desk awards and was nominated for six Tony awards including best comedy.

Veterans of Bradshaw’s productions, as well as new faces will portray the colorful cast of characters that are guaranteed to leave the audience rolling with laughter. “I’m very confident about the casting” Bradshaw said. “It’s essential to the success of the production.”

Among the cast is Matt Kent, best remembered for his portrayal of Gaston in last spring’s production of Beauty and the Beast, who will be taking on the role of Tito Merelli. Tito’s wife Maria, played by CCC newcomer Bianca Rivera adds a barrage of insults and accusations that always leads into a funny and somehow very real argument. Somehow finding a way to bring comic relief to a show that is already a comedy in every sense of the word is Matt Giacomelli, who makes his presence known the very minute he bursts onto the stage as the Bellhop. Production has only just begun, but the show’s fast paced, witty, and at times gasp worthy humor has left the cast themselves in tears.

If you are looking for gut busting comedy and a performance you will surely never forget, then mark off your calendars for the weekend of November 20th and come out and witness this comedy classic.

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