'Lend Me a Tenor'

Camelot Theatre Company presents Ken Ludwig's comedy "Lend Me a Tenor." Preview performance is at 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 21 ($10). The show opens Friday, Aug. 22, and runs through Sept. 14. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sundays with a pay-what-you-can performance at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Chaos reigns offstage and on in this Tony Award-winning backstage farce. The Cleveland Grand Opera Company has imported the world-famous tenor Tito Merelli to launch its season with a performance of Verdi's "Otello," only to discover its special attraction has passed out cold in his dressing room from taking too many tranquilizers. The company manager scrambles to make sure the show, as always, goes on. Who will perform? Will the audience notice?

"Lend Me a Tenor" won six Tony Awards and was nominated for 13, including the Tony Award for Best Play of 1989. A prolific playwright, Ludwig also has been nominated for "On the Twentieth Century." Other Broadway credits include the scripts to "Moon Over Buffalo" and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer."

Camelot's production of "Lend Me a Tenor" is directed by Camelot veteran Dianna Warner. She directed "Shakespeare in Hollywood" for Camelot and has been seen on the Camelot stage as M'lynn is "Steel Magnolias," Jack's Mother in "Into the Woods" and Queen Elizabeth in "Beard of Avon."

The role of Tito Merelli is played by Camelot veteran Jack Seybold. Seybold has appeared in 12 Camelot productions. He played Wally in "1940's Radio Hour," Condel in "Beard of Avon," Mysterious Man in "Into the Woods," and the Padre in "Man of La Mancha." Sam Cowan plays the role of Max. Cowan recently played Jesse Vanderhof in "Promises, Promises" at Camelot.

Dan Stephens plays Saunders, general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera. Stephens last appeared at Camelot as Mr. McIlhenny in "Do I Hear a Waltz." His other Camelot roles include James Cagney in "Shakespeare in Hollywood," B.J. Gibson in "1940's Radio Hour," Jacquot in "Carnival" and Mimiko in "Zorba."

The role of Maggie Saunders is played by Jazzmin Parker. Parker appeared at Camelot in "Miracle Worker," "An American Daughter" and "Steel Magnolias." Maria Ciamaichelo plays arts patroness Julia. Ciamaichelo was in the ensemble of "The Grapes of Wrath" at Camelot.

The role of Maria Merelli is played by Mae Jeffs. Jeffs appeared in "Promises, Promises," "Shakespeare in Hollywood," "Man of La Mancha" and "Into the Woods" at Camelot.

Lead company soprano Diana is played by Kaitie Warner-Falk. Warner played Lydia Lansing in "Shakespeare in Hollywood," Shelby in "Steel Magnolias," Cinderella in "Into the Woods," Martha Jefferson in "1776," multiple roles in "The Heidi Chronicles" and Lili in "Carnival" at Camelot.

The cast is rounded out with Aaron J. Falk in the role of the nosy bellhop. Falk has appeared in the Camelot productions "Sockdology," "Meet Me in St. Louis" and "Shakespeare in Hollywood."

The production team for "Lend Me a Tenor" includes Camelot's resident designers: costumer Emily Ehrlich Inget; set designer, properties master and master carpenter Don Zastoupil; lighting designer Bart Grady and sound designer Brian O'Connor. Stage management is by Jamie L. Thomas. Sound and light board operator is Taja Watkins. Tana Watkins is the dresser. Aaron J. Blenkush and Don Matthews provided musical support.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for students and seniors. Reserved seating is an additional $2. Tickets are available online at CamelotTheatre.org, by phone or in person at the theater box office, 101 Talent Ave., Talent, from — to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and one hour before performances. Call 535-5250.

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