By Kenneth Mighty
Lend me a Tenor at the Westchester Broadway Theater is a comedic play by Ken Ludwig. The play first premiered at the West End Theater in 1986 and later came to the Broadway Theater in 1989. Lend me a Tenor has had nine Tony Award nominations and has won Best Actor (Phillip Bosco) and Best Director (Jerry Zaks). Directed by Harry Bouvy, The Westchester Broadway Theater offers theatergoers plenty of laughs and an overall fantastic dinner theater experience.
This comedy takes place in a two- room Cleveland hotel suite in 1934 where Henry Saunders (Philip Hoffman), stage manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, and his assistant Max (J.D. Daw) awaits the arrival of renowned Italian opera tenor, Tito Merelli (Joey Sorge). Merelli is supposed to play the lead role in Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello. Merelli is fashionable late nearly giving Saunders one of several heart attacks. When Merelli arrives with his wife, Mira (Kathy Voytko) he has a server stomach ache from over eating and request he takes a nap before going to the theater, skipping rehearsal. Saunders puts Max in charge of seeing to Merelli and all of his needs while he gets everyone else ready for the show. Max helps Merrelli get comfortable and so he can sleep giving him a tranquilizer laced glass of wine. During their brief conversation Merelli learns that Max is an aspiring singer and proceeds to give him pointers and boost his confidence by singing a duet with him.
When Merelli goes into the bedroom, he discovers a letter written by his wife telling him that she is leaving him. Devastated, Merelli throws a fit and attempts to kill himself with various objects like a wine bottle and fork. Max was able to calm Merelli down and get him into bed. Moments later Max is unable to awaken Merelli from his nap and notices an empty bottle of medicine and Maria’s letter to Merelli. Max believes Merelli wrote the letter and is convinced Merelli has taken his own life. Heartbroken, Max has to tell Saunders what has happened since he left nearly giving Saunders his second heart attack of the evening. Through all the commotion Saunders and Max come up with a plan to have Max play the lead role so the show can go on without Merelli. All seemed well until Merelli awakens from his slumber causing a whole lot of confusion amongst everybody.
The Westchester Broadway Theater is the longest- running year- round Equity Theater in the state of New York. The theater has been open for 45 years and has had over 200 main stage productions. The experience The Westchester Broadway Theaters gives its audience is one like no other. One does not simply go and watch a show. Dinner is also provided with drinks, appetizers, and dessert. The seating arrangement of the theater is fabulous. Each table can seat four people comfortably and there is virtually no “bad Seat” in the house. The stage is nearly in the center of the room with seats and tables on all three sides of it giving everyone a clear view of the show. The waiters, waitresses and staff were very attentive and accommodating.
The cast of Lend Me a Tenor did a fantastic job and I really enjoyed myself. The show was hilarious, in fact, and on its last stretch with performances until the 26th of January. Coming soon to WBT too: Five Guys Named Moe in honor of Black History Month.