Stanley Tucci directs the Broadway revival of Ken Ludwig’s comedy “Lend Me a Tenor,” which opened April 4 at the Music Box Theatre.
Set in a Cleveland hotel suite in 1934, “Tenor” is the story of the Italian opera star Tito Merelli (“Il Stupendo”), played by Anthony LaPaglia opposite Jan Maxwell as the singer’s jealous wife, Maria. Tony Shalhoub also stars as the frazzled opera company manager Saunders, who must keep everything in order and find a substitute when Merelli is incapacitated on opening night.
The comedy is ably supported by Mary Catherine Garrison, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Jay Klaitz, Brooke Adams, and Justin Bartha (as Saunder’s assistant and last-minute Merelli stand-in, Max).
Three years after its first production in London’s West End, the farce premiered on Broadway in 1989, receiving eight Tony Award nominations and winning one for Best Actor. As a measure of its popularity, “Lend Me a Tenor” has been translated into 16 languages and produced in 25 countries in the 20 years since its debut.
Beginning March 12, the 999-seat Music Box hosted three weeks of previews with an average capacity of 65 to 75 percent. Regular ticket prices range from $86.50 to $126.50, with premium seats priced at $191.50 and $251.50. Gross ticket sales were $279,255 for the week ending March 28, according to numbers from the Broadway League.
Performances of this open-ended production are scheduled Tuesday at 7 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Matinees run Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. The theater is dark on Monday.
The Music Box Theatre is located at 239 W. 45th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue. “Lend Me a Tenor” runs two-and-a-half hours, including a 15-minute intermission. Scheduling and ticketing details are available on the production’s official Web site.
Opening Night: “Lend Me a Tenor”
|Variety||Marilyn Stasio||“It’s the classic farce situation — disaster, denial, recovery, complication, catastrophe — and it’s a joy to watch Shalhoub attack it.”|
|New York Times||Charles Isherwood||“…the heady ether of prime farce never materializes in this labor-intensive but laugh-deficient evening…”|
|USA Today||Elysa Gardner||“…director Stanley Tucci has clearly instructed his ensemble to abandon all inhibitions in the pursuit of a goofy good time.”|
|Hollywood Reporter||Frank Scheck||“The play itself might be derivative, mechanical and devoid of real wit, but this production…is at times hysterically funny.”|
|Theatre Mania||David Finkle||“While best known as an actor, Tucci proves to be a sly director, full of clever ideas…”|
|New York Daily News||Joe Dziemianowicz||” Speed, finesse and keen comic chops are key ingredients to any farce. Happily, they’re all in ample supply in director Stanley Tucci’s antic revival of “Lend Me a Tenor.”|