Cleveland Play House's New Ground Theatre Festival & A Comedy of Tenors
BY CHRISTOPHER JOHNSTON
Please read the full article in American Theatre
Being part of the festival is enormously valuable for Ken Ludwig, whose play A Comedy of Tenors will receive a final tune-up as a reading directed by Stephen Wadsworth on May 9th before its world premiere as the opener for CPH’s centennial season (where it will run Sept. 5–Oct. 3).
“It gives me a chance to hear great actors do the play with a great director and really take a step forward in working on the piece,” he says. “I’ll be editing and changing it as we go, probably up to and beyond opening night, so it’s exactly what a new script needs.”
A Comedy of Tenors is the sequel to Ludwig’s wildly successful play Lend Me a Tenor. Featuring the same four characters, it’s set in a hotel room in Paris three years later, where the former mayor of Cleveland is planning the biggest concert of the century and calling it something he thought of in 1936: The Three Tenors. What he wasn’t counting on was the chaos that would ensue, thanks to an amorous Italian superstar and his hot-blooded wife, leading to an opening night marked by flaring tempers, mistaken identities and bedlam in the boudoir.
“It’s not a sequel in the sense that you need to know anything about the first play,” Ludwig explains. “It completely stands on its own.”
“Ken’s been part of the CPH family since the 1980s, and this is his fifth play that we’re doing and the third world premiere,” Kepley explains. This longstanding relationship is why A Comedy of Tenors is the perfect play to launch the venerable venue’s 100th, she says: “Having characters from Cleveland is an extra-special, fun component.”