REVIEW OF LEND ME A TENOR
By Ken Ludwig
Directed by Jim DePriest
For tickets / schedule :
Raven Performing Arts Theater, Healdsburg
RUN: September 11-27, 2015
RATING: 3 of 5 stars
(September 11, 2015)
Set in 1934, this comical farce features mistaken identity, glory seeking coquettes, operatic mayhem, and reunited love. Ken Ludwig’s play first premiered March 6, 1986 in the West End, moving onto Broadway in 1989 where it won several Tony awards. It was his first Broadway play, leading to a well-known career.
The Raven Players brings a strong ensemble cast, using the simple set design to great advantage for well-timed physical comedy. Rather than attempt to find a message or meaning in the play, they embrace its fluffy, ludicrous nature for a diverting evening. The multiple room comedy is reminiscent of An Ideal Husband, and the characters are just as motivated by greed, power and love. If planning on bringing underage children, note that there is mild language and sexual innuendos in the play.
Christine Calson dominates the stage in her portrayal of wronged Italian diva Maria. Although not consistent, Steve Thorpe as Tito the Tenor was charming. Steven David Martin (Saunders) took a scene to warm up to his role, but by scene two he was fully integrated and hilarious to watch bumble about. This production is very much about the cast as a whole, rather than individual actors who shine; together they created an amusing staging of the play. Holly Werner’s costumes were lovely sweeping gowns and crisp suits, reflecting the period setting and giving a visual hook into the play’s world.
Lend Me a Tenor is an entertaining, fun evening in the wine country, with a delightful cast. It is the perfect play to relax and enjoy after a long day.