Play ‘Lend Me A Tenor’ takes LT stage

Lars Lonnroth, Managing Editor of Breaking News and Multimedia Content

The LT Theatre department presented Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me A Tenor” on the weekend of Dec. 9. The humorous play tells the story of a big shot Italian singer who suddenly can not perform at an engagement in Cleveland, forcing the other characters to try to fix the situation.

“Every scene, back to back to back, is hysterical,” said Eli Michor ‘18, who plays the character Max in the play. “Even backstage, I’ve gone through the script 100s of times, but each time I laugh. It never fails me.”

Mike Kuehl, head sponsor of Theatre board and the director of the play, said the show—beyond the laughs—tells a story about finding the ability to triumph in extreme situations even when the individuals do not believe they have that ability.

“[The show presents] the idea of looking into yourself and finding your best self and realizing your own potential,” Kuehl said. “One character didn’t think he was capable of doing what he did, but sure enough, he pulled off this great charade.”

The show has a smaller cast than other shows, having an even split of four men and four women, Kuehl said. The Theatre Department decided to select a production with fewer parts because in the past it’s been difficult to fill each role in a large-cast production.

“For the last few years, we’ve had a hard time filling audition spots,” Kuehl said. “We’ve had a hard time filling out casts, so that led us to smaller cast shows.”

Despite the smaller cast, John Chaplin ‘19 said that when he saw the show he thought that the chemistry that a smaller cast enabled really brought the show together.

“All the characters interact at some point, while in other plays not all characters are in the same scene,” Chaplin said. “In this show, any character can be with any character at any time. It was really fun to see different scenarios play out.”

He added: “The chemistry made the show very fun to watch.”

“Lend Me A Tenor” is categorized as a farce, a humorous play akin to a situational comedy on TV. As a result, “Lend Me A Tenor” features many aspects of the farce genre, Kuehl said.

“Typically in a farce there are mistaken identities, doors—plenty of doors slamming—and there’s a lot of dramatic irony, where the audience knows something that the characters do not,” Kuehl said. “The characters have to live within the world of the play so they don’t know what we, the audience, knows.”

As a result of the show’s dramatic irony, it leads to the audience being left on the edge of their seat, Kuehl said.

“The audience likes that feeling of knowing more and wondering how things are going to turn out with what they know,” Kuehl said.

At the end of the play, much of the drama subsides and the crazy situations become blips of the past. Because of that, Michor said that the show is a tale of perseverance.

“I think the audience takes away that if real life gives you a problem,” Michor said, “it will eventually turn out fine in the end.”