Saturday, April 03, 2010
LEND ME A TENOR
Very very funny!
Brilliantly directing, finding the joke in almost every line (sometimes more than one to a line) and laughs in many places without any lines at all, Stanley Tucci guides Lend Me A Tenor, an excellently written, wonderfully acted comedy, in a new revival on Broadway.
Setup: A world famous Italian opera singer (a role that feels almost as if it were written for Paul Sorvino) comes to Cleveland to guest star at a major operatic benefit. He's late. He has overeaten. He is a womanizer. His (jealous) wife is with him. He's not prepared to sing. The Opera Manager's Assistant (intern as he'd be called in CL), a geek with no visible charisma or experience, and of course in love with the Manager's Daughter, is the only one who might sing the opera if the Tenor can not go on. Funny lines, plus slapstick and multiple-ladies-behind-swinging-doors farce.
Written by Ken Ludwig, the play, set in 1934, was first produced in 1986. Now it's at the Music Box, one of the nicest theaters on Broadway.
Tony Shalhoub as the General Manager, and Anthony LaPaglia as the Tenor are both excellent in verbal and physical comedy. Jennifer Laura Thompson as a Singer/Diva is most desirable, and Jan Maxwell as the Tenor's Wife is very funny. But the standout star is Justin Bartha (best known as the future groom in The Hangover), making his Broadway debut! As the Assistant, Bartha transitions back and forth from geek to opera star, totally real and hilarious as both.
It's very funny (did I say that?) and great fun!