Fresh off PCPA’s production of the musical Beauty and the Beast, its season in Solvang now turns to bedroom comedy with another musical, Lend Me a Tenor (The Musical). The show, which began as a straight play by veteran farceur Ken Ludwig back in 1989, was retooled for the musical theater by Brad Carroll and Peter Sham in 2007. In true farce fashion, the set consists of two rooms with a door for slamming in between; the plot is ridiculous, the humor is broad and physical, and the dialogue can be absurd — in other words, it’s a rip-roaring time for the actors and audience alike.
When Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor first appeared on Broadway in 1989, it earned nine Tony Award nominations and one win for Best Actor, and it went on to become one of the most frequently produced titles in the American theater. Lend Me a Tenor (The Musical) began when Sham and Carroll were commissioned to do a musical for the Utah Shakespeare Festival. After premiering at Utah Shakes, the show found its way in 2011 to London’s West End, where it was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award. PCPA’s production will be the musical’s West Coast premiere.
Tenor tells the story of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, who has invited world-famous tenor Tito Merelli to perform. Things go awry when it’s curtain time and Merelli is nowhere to be found. Mayhem ensues in the form of mistakenly taken tranquilizers, spousal fighting, hysterical threats, and a stand-in who must make sure the show will go on. PCPA regulars Erik Stein, Matt Koenig, and Kitty Balay star, along with guest performer Joe Ogren. —Michelle Drown
PCPA presents Lend Me a Tenor (The Musical) July 6-23 at Solvang Festival Theater (420 2nd St., Solvang). Call (805) 922-8313 or see pcpa.org.