Lend Me a Tenor

Following the success of Moon Over Buffalo. The company presented another Ken Ludwig play called Lend Me a Tenor. Set in 1934, this farce revolved around renowned tenor Tito Merelli, known to his fans as “Il Stupendo,” who is scheduled to sing the lead in Otello, produced as a gala fundraiser for the Cleveland Opera Company. Unfortunately, even before the star leaves his hotel room, everything begins to unravel. Chaos ensues when Merelli’s wife, who has mistaken an autograph-seeker hidden in his closet for a secret lover, leaves him a “Dear John” letter. The distraught Merelli accidentally is given a double dose of tranquilizers to calm him and passes out. Saunders, the company’s General Manager, is determined the show must go on (for his own financial sake), so he asks his assistant Max to impersonate the opera star. Max puts on the blackface makeup required for the role of Otello, and his disguise succeeds admirably–until Merelli, also in blackface, wakes up and heads for the stage. What follows is a chain-reaction of mistaken identity, plot twists, double entendres, innuendoes, and constant entrances and exits through many doors. This performance ran in Dodge City from October 3-26, 2002.

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