'Lend Me a Tenor' at Ashland High School

Tito Merelli, a world-famous Italian opera singer — known as "Il Stupendo" to his many fans — arrives in Cleveland, Ohio, to make his debut with a local company — and suddenly goes missing.

Chaos on a truly operatic level ensues as Henry Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, conspires to cover Merelli's absence and distract his passionate fans.

"Lend Me a Tenor," playwright Ken Ludwig's hilarious, screwball comedy, is set in the 1930s in a two-room hotel suite. Critics have called it "uproarious" and "a door-slamming, good farce."

Ashland High School drama students will present their production of the play in the Mountain Avenue Theatre on the AHS campus, 201 S. Mountain Ave., Ashland.

Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, Nov. 7-9, and Nov. 14-16; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17.

Tickets cost $20 for reserved seating, $10 for general seating and $5 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online at www.showtix4u.com or by calling 866-967-8167.

"Lend Me a Tenor" was first produced on New York City's West End in 1986 and on Broadway in 1989. It received nine Tony Award nominations — winning those for best actor and best director — won three Drama Desk Awards, took the Olivier Award for best comedy of the year and enjoyed a Broadway revival in 2010 at Music Box Theatre. It's been translated into 16 languages and produced in countries around the world.

AHS' cast includes Noah Yaconelli as Merelli; Noah Werthaiser as Saunders; Jeremiah Lieberman as Max, Saunders' harried assistant; Lindsey Crocker as Maggie, Saunders' daughter and Max's on-again, off-again girlfriend; and Elena Toppo as Maria, Merelli's hot-tempered, jealous wife. Other cast members include Jackson Richmond, Aubyn Heglie, Andrea Koell, Jonathan Connolly, Abby Mizera and Lily Rider.

Liisa Ivary directs, set designer is David Pederson, costume designer is Ellen Alphonso, and lighting designer is Bart Grady. Hegli is assistant director, stage manager is Grace St. Claire-Bates and musical coach is Jennifer Schloming.

Group tickets are available by calling 541-482-8771.

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