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Improbable...Unpredictable...Hysterical - DTC's LEND ME A TENOR
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By Greer Firestone

- Playwright/actor in 1 man First Person Multi Media Living History show THE DuPONT STORY  A FAMILY A COMPANY

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Aisle Say

- Playwright/actor in 1 man First Person Multi Media Living History show THE DuPONT STORY  A FAMILY A COMPANY

- Playwright of Broadway style musical GERSHWIN, by GEORGE: The 1936 Radio, JUDY GARLAND \x34World's Greatest Entertainer\x34

- Author of historical novel: ALEXEI and RASPUTIN

- High school soccer and lacrosse ref and arts/non-profits advocate

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By Greer Firestone
Oct. 23, 2013 1:09 p.m.



There is a reason that LEND ME A TENOR is one of the most popular productions in both professional and community theatre; it's plot is so devilishly clever and its dialogue so charmingly hysterical.

Farce is comedy that is highly exaggerated and thus improbable.Farce is characterized by physical humor, the use of deliberate absurdity or nonsense, and broadly stylized performances. This show is all of that... but more about the broads later. In the competent hands of director Bud Martin and a seasoned cast, the end result was a Standing O on opening night played to a packed house.

The setting, a 1930's Art Deco hotel room with a multitude of doors (all of which get slammed multitudinously) is reminiscent of The Marx Brothers farce of that era, ROOM SERVICE, featuring a new starlet, Lucille Ball. Designer Dirk Durossette's detailed research was wonderful. The women's costumes  designed by Alisa Kleckner, were stunning; one worn by the seductive Diana (Sarah Litzsinger) shimmered like a male peacock in heat.  Hold it, I should say that Diana was the one "in heat" and consequently raised male temperatures strolling in her bustier. (Litzsinger has the honor of being the longest running Belle in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST on Broadway).

Director Martin mined his Philadelphia connections and cast (Saunders) Tony Braithwaite, a favorite at Act II Playhouse, Martin's former theatrical address.  In fact, four of the 8 cast members had done the show  previously on that stage.

 Saunders, the impresario of the struggling Cleveland Opera,  has booked the world's greatest tenor (Tito Merelli) John Plumpis for a one nighter fund raiser.  But Tito dies (or at least it appears so) and the jig is up.  All is lost. Just as the audience thinks someone would respond to the panic of having the doppleganger of Enrico Caruso kick the proverbial bucket , well, Saunder's resourceful mind and his perfect timing consistently surprise -  and amuse  - the audience.

Saunders daughter Maggie (Eileen Cella) is just too cute. Her most telling bit as a comedienne came as she could barely mouth the words of meeting such an international star as Merelli. Quite an endearing moment.

(Maria) Tracie Higgins was perfect as Tito's diva and hot-blooded amore/wife.  (Think an imperious Gina Lollabridgida  with laugh lines.) Speaking of lines, she dropped her fiery Italian accent not once!

(Max) Jonathan Silver stewed an amusing brew of Jerry Lewis and Dick Van Dyke.  His long legs added to the physical comedy of the role.

So improbable, so unpredictable....so very  very entertaining.

Next up  on November 16 is a 2 person fund raiser LOVE LETTERS, played by none other than our honorable Governor Jack and his lovely (arts advocate) wife Carla Markell. The night is hosted by Tatiana and Gerret Copeland and Ellen and Michael Kullman.

Through November 3            DelawareTheatre.org            302.594.1100

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