Vermont Theatre Company presents ‘Lend Me a Tenor’

DUMMERSTON — What do you get when you combine a hilarious, farcical script by an internationally acclaimed playwright with a talented and ambitious cast of versatile area actors and an experienced and creative local director? You get the Vermont Theatre Company's next hit production, Lend Me A Tenor by Ken Ludwig, which will be presented March 25 through April 3 at the Evening Star Grange in Dummerston Center.

Filled with belly laughs and slapstick action, this show has everything audiences need to laugh away the mud season blues. A winner of three Tony Awards and four Drama Desk Awards, Lend Me A Tenor was originally produced in 1989 on Broadway under the direction of Jerry Zaks. It was immediately hailed by The New York Times as “one of the funniest farces to appear on Broadway,” and by USA Today as “Uproarious! Hysterical!”

It ran for 476 performances at the Royale Theatre. It was most recently revived in 2010 under the direction of Stanley Tucci and starred Anthony LaPaglia and Tony Shalhoub in the lead roles. Ken Ludwig is also the author of Moon Over Buffalo, and the books for the musicals Crazy For You, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and the 2004 adaptation of Twentieth Century.

Lend Me a Tenor takes place in 1934, where the Cleveland Grand Opera Company awaits the arrival of guest artist Tito Morelli. Hailed as possibly the greatest operatic tenor of his time, Tito (also known as “Il Stupendo”) is to perform the title role in their gala performance of Giuseppe Verdi's Otello.

The cast includes Tony Grobe as the troublesome but charismatic world famous Italian tenor Tito Morelli, Jim Bombicino as the hot-tempered and desperate impresario Saunders, Jay Gelter as Max, his nebbish assistant and an aspiring tenor himself, Tracy Therieau as Maggie, a tenor-infatuated ingénue and not-so-innocent girlfriend of Max and daughter of Saunders, Louise Krieger as the pesky board chairwoman Julia, Carlton Smith as the voracious and sexy predatory soprano Diana, CJ Cummings as Tito's jealous and temperamental wife Maria, and Sam Murphy as an overeager bellhop.

The production is under the direction of long-time Vermont Theatre Company and Brattleboro Union High School director Bob Kramsky, who is assisted by Brenda Seitz as stage manager, Michelle Page as assistant stage manager, and Dawn Grobe as producer.

Production dates for Lend Me A Tenor are March 25-27 and April 1-3. Evening performances on Friday and Saturday begin at 7:30 p.m., and the Sunday matinees begin at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for regular admission, and $10 for senior citizens, students, and both matinees. Tickets can be reserved by calling 802-258-1344 or on-line at [email protected]. A special ASL interpreted performance will be available on Sunday, March 27 at 3 p.m.

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