Jim Poulos, Neal Benari, Michelle Ragusa and Seth Rudetsky star in the John W. Engeman Theatre staging of Ken Ludwig's Lend Me a Tenor
Ludwig's Lend Me a Tenor Begins Performances at the Engeman Jan. 17
By Adam Hetrick
17 Jan 2008
Jim Poulos, Neal Benari, Michelle Ragusa and Seth Rudetsky star in the John W. Engeman Theatre staging of Ken Ludwig's Lend Me a Tenor, which begins performances Jan. 17.
B.T. McNicholl – who recently staged the European premiere of The Producers and international productions of Cabaret – directs Jim Poulos (Max), Catai Ojeda (Maggie), Doug Stender (Saunders), Neal Benari (Tito), Michele Ragusa (Maria), Seth Rudetsky (Bellhop), Christianne Tisdale (Diana) and Celia Tackaberry (Julia) in Ludwig's backstage comedy set in 1934.
Lend Me a Tenor, according to press notes, takes place as "the Cleveland Grand Opera is celebrating the biggest night in its history. World famous tenor Tito Morelli, known to his fans as 'Il Stupendo,' is scheduled to sing the lead in Otello, produced as a gala fundraiser set to raise $50,000 for the company. Before the star gets beyond his hotel room however, things begin to unravel. Chaos sets in when a 'Dear John' letter is mistaken for a suicide note and Tito's appearance onstage seems unlikely. But for Henry Saunders, General Manager of the Cleveland Opera, 'the show must go on!' ... under any circumstance - even if it means sending a replacement onstage in disguise."
The creative team includes Robin L. McGee (costume design), Jen Schriever (lighting design), Court Watson (set design) and Erin M. Ballantine (sound design).
Playwright Ken Ludwig made his Broadway debut in 1989 with Lend Me a Tenor, which received a Tony nomination for Best Play. His works include Moon Over Buffalo, the book for Crazy for You, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the newly adapted Twentieth Century. He is currently adapting the Gershwin's "An American in Paris" for the stage. Ludwig's Lend Me a Tenor made its world premiere as a stage musical at the Utah Shakespearean Festival in June 2007.
Lend Me a Tenor opens Jan. 19 and will continue through Feb. 17. For tickets call (631) 261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.
The Engeman Theater is located at 250 Main Street in Northport, Long Island, NY.