Michael Cyril Creighton as the Bellhop, Alix Elias as Julia and Garrett Long as Maggie in The George Street Playhouse production of Lend Me A Tenor


'All about the comedy' Fanny Hill Dinner Theatre puts on comedy "Lend Me a Tenor"

Mistaken identities, Italian accents and many miscommunications are just some of the plot points of Fanny Hill Dinner Theatre's production of "Lend Me a Tenor."

The play is set in Cleveland in 1934. It revolves around renowned opera singer Tito Morelli. Morelli is scheduled to perform at the grand opening of an opera house.

Chaos follows when he and his wife fight in his dressing room over an autograph seeker who his wife mistakes as his mistress. Morelli mistakenly takes a double dose of sleeping pills. When everyone assumes Morelli is dead, his assistant dressed in his clothes and paraded around to act like the supposed dead opera singer.

"This is one of the best farces that has ever been written," said Don Hodgins, Fanny Hill Theatre director. "It's such an easy show to laugh and have a great time at."

Hodgins, who plays the part of Morelli, said this is one of the biggest characters he's played.

"Tito Morelli is so much fun to play," he said. "I love doing the Italian dialect."

As opening night was April 17, Hodgins said the play was well-received by the audience.

"We were pretty well sold out that night," he said. "The audience was pretty much rolling in the aisles and saying it was the funniest thing they have seen in a long time."

Hodgins also said "Lend Me a Tenor" is really made for all ages because the comedy is so broad.

"It's a lot of fun, a lot of activity, a lot of running around," he said. "The humor is general, you don't have to work at it. It's situational and a sure crowd pleaser."

"Lend Me a Tenor" was written by Ken Ludwig in 1986 and won a Tony Award for Best Play. This is not the first time Fanny Hill has performed the play.

"We did it in the '90s and it was a pretty big hit," Hodgins said. "It went over well then, so we decided to do it again, it wouldn't be too much of a risk."

With Fanny Hill's last two plays being both Neil Simon comedies, "The Odd Couple" and "Chapter Two," Hodgins said don't expect "Death of a Salesman" from them anytime soon.

"Dinner theater is all about the comedy," he said. "We want you to come, have some laughs, have some drinks and basically just have fun."

"Lend Me a Tenor" isn't just an audience pleaser but an actor pleaser as well. Hodgins said audience members can tell that the actors have a great time on stage.

"We entertain ourselves on stage. Even after three and a half weeks of rehearsal, we still love doing it. We find it hilarious every time," he said.

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