Laughter hits a high note with Black Box Players’ production of farce ‘Lend Me A Tenor’
Laughter hits a high note with Black Box Players’ production of farce ‘Lend Me A Tenor’November 01, 2005Jaime Winne Alvarez firstname.lastname@example.org
Syracuse University’s Black Box Players continues its 20th anniversary season with Ken Ludwig’s hilarious farce “Lend Me A Tenor.” The show runs through Nov. 12 at the Black Box Theatre, located in the Regent Theatre Complex, which houses the SU Drama Department and Syracuse Stage at 820 E. Genesee St., Syracuse.
Set in an upscale Cleveland hotel suite in 1934, “Lend Me A Tenor” follows two employees of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company as they try to mount a production of Verdi’s “Othello.” Along the way, they are bombarded by a series of mishaps, several mistaken identities and frequent door slamming. In addition, the two employees are faced with an assortment of eccentric characters, ranging from an oversexed soprano to a disruptive bellhop. As with any farce, just when the situation seems like it can’t get any worse, it inevitably does, and hilarity ensues. “Lend Me A Tenor” is a high-class comedy that combines the wit and style of television’s “Frasier” with the outrageous physical comedy of “Noises Off.” Senior acting major Robbie Rescigno directs the production.
First produced on Broadway in 1989, “Lend Me A Tenor” was a smash hit, receiving two Tony Awards. The show has earned acclaim worldwide. It has been produced in more than 30 countries and 16 languages. Aside from “Lend Me A Tenor,” Ludwig has written several pieces for both stage and screen. Notable works include the comedy “Moon Over Buffalo,” which starred Carol Burnett, and the book for the Tony Award-winning musical “Crazy For You.”
The ensemble cast is comprised of eight students from the SU Drama Department. Senior acting major Claire Moos takes on the role of the flaky Julia, chair of the Opera Guild. Senior acting major Paul Rescigno plays the role of Saunders, general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company. Senior musical theatre major Jason Shelton takes on the role of Saunders’ bumbling, bespectacled assistant, Max. Maggie, the object of Max’s affection, who also happens to be Saunders’ daughter, is played by junior musical theatre major Stephanie Mitchell. Italian singing sensation Tito Merelli is played by senior musical theatre major Michael J. Contini, while the role of his gorgeous and feisty wife is played by senior musical theatre major Sharone Sayegh. Diana, the soprano looking for her next big break, is played by junior musical theatre major K.C. Leiber. Sophomore acting major Stephen Anthony portrays the part of the bothersome bellhop.
The luxurious Cleveland hotel suite, which provides all the doors necessary for the mayhem of “Lend Me A Tenor,” is designed by sophomore Melissa Pujols and is based on a design concept by junior Matt Pelmear. Junior Meghan Molenda creates a gilded atmosphere through her lighting design, adding warmth and sophistication. The costumes, designed by junior T.V. Alexander, bring style and elegance to the already classy play. Senior Megan Maloney establishes the mood and time period of the play, utilizing the sounds of opera and 1930s jazz. Sophomore Laura Jane Collins serves as the production’s stage manager.
All Black Box Players productions are free to the public. Seating is limited, so please arrive at least a half hour prior to the performance. To make reservations, leave a message on the Black Box Players’ voice mailbox at (315) 443-2102. All requests will receive a follow-up phone call from the box office. For more information, visit www.blackboxplayers.org.