Posted: Wednesday Jul 17, 2013
July 17, 2013
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre will conclude its 45th season of professional theatre with Ken Ludwig’s celebrated comedy, “Lend Me a Tenor,” August 1 to 18, directed by Colleen Reilly.
The cast includes Kevin Daniel O’Leary as Max, Audra Qualley as Maggie, David Cabot as Saunders, Jeff Howell as Tito, Cary Anne Spear as Maria, Zachary Rumski as Bellhop, Lara Hayhurst as Diana and Patricia Reilly as Julia.
“I think Lend Me a Tenor is one of the great American comedies of the 20th century,” commented Reilly. “It’s certainly one of the greatest written in the last few decades. I personally have a great affection for it. It’s a fantastic, fantastic comedy, written by Ken Ludwig, who is a great writer and has a great affection for comedy, for the classic, great stage comedies of the 20th century. He sort of follows the footsteps of Kaufman and Hart and those fantastic comedic writers.”
“Lend Me a Tenor itself takes place in the early 1930s in a hotel suite that has been reserved by the Cleveland Grand Opera Company to house Tito Morelli, the greatest tenor of his generation who is coming to Cleveland to give a one-night-only gala performance of Verdi’s Otello,” Reilly continued. “Morelli arrives, but before the performance begins he is discovered apparently dead from an overdose of sleeping pills. So the director of the Cleveland Opera Company, not wanting to tell all his wealthy supporters that the gala is a bust, convinces his assistant, the company’s factotum, Max, to go on in his place. Max is a talented aspiring singer. The director of the Opera Company argues that in black face who’s going to know the difference. Max lets himself be persuaded, he goes on and he’s a hit. But sadly, or actually happily, Tito is less dead than everybody originally thought. He, himself, wakes up, puts on his Otello costume and tries to head to the theatre and give his performance.”
“The bulk of the play takes place back in the hotel suite after the performance when you have two Otellos, neither one knowing that the other one exists, running around trying to dodge come-ons from the company’s soprano and various other difficulties,” Reilly explained. “The whole thing is just one wonderful comedic setup after another, milked for all they’re worth and topped off with a happy ending. It’s a really, really fun comedy.”
Zachary Rumski will make his Saint Vincent Summer Theatre debut in this show. “Zac graduated from Saint Vincent College two years ago,” Reilly shared. “He was a student of mine. I taught him in Acting and Acting II, and he was in several shows that I directed. He is a very talented, young actor. He’s grown a lot as a performer over the last few years; it’s been very exciting to see. He came and auditioned this summer, like lots of people did, and I was very, very happy when I could offer him this role. I love to be able to help students like that. At Saint Vincent we don’t have an acting major and I don’t have a lot of students who are hoping for a career in the performing arts. But Zac, I think, is heading in that direction and I was very happy to be able to give him this role. I think he’ll do it beautifully.”
A preview performance is scheduled at 8:10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1. Regular performances are set for 8:10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 2 and 3, Tuesday to Saturday, Aug. 6 to 10 and 13 to 17. Three matinees are scheduled at 2:10 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14 and Sundays, Aug. 11 and 18.
Individual tickets are $10 for preview performances, $19 on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings, $22 on Friday and Saturday evenings and $16 for matinees. Special theatre party group rates apply to groups of 20 guests or more. Senior citizens, 62 or older, are eligible for a $2 discount upon request on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings only. Special subscription plans are also available through Saturday, June 29. In addition, student tickets are available for $10 for any seat, any performance.
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre performances are all scheduled in the comfortable, air-conditioned Performing Arts Center of the Robert S. Carey Student Center on the Saint Vincent College campus. Free van shuttle service is provided to and from the spacious and convenient parking areas adjacent to the Saint Vincent Basilica.
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre continues to feature its well-known cabaret, the special after-the-show party to which all theatre patrons are invited. Saint Vincent students serve snacks, hot dogs and beverages after the production and also provide entertainment. The cabaret is open after all performances except Thursday preview shows and all matinees. Theatre officials encourage donations if patrons enjoy themselves at the after-the-show party.
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre patrons are asked to make ticket reservations in advance because seats are reserved at all performances except Thursday evening preview shows, which are general admission. Reservations may be made by calling the theater box office at 724-537-8900 or going online to www.svst.org. A credit card is required for online reservations which are transferable but non-refundable. Further information is available by contacting the box office.
Photos: Kevin Daniel O’Leary, Audra Qualley, David Cabot, Jeff Howell, Cary Anne Spear, Zachary Rumski, Lara Hayhurst and Patricia Reilly.
Follow us on Twitter: @MySaintVincent
Like us on Facebook: