January 10 – 26, 2020

MATINEES at 2:00pm

Prospect Theater Project invites you to welcome in the New Year with Lend Me a Tenor, a side-splitting farce of mistaken identities, written by award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig and directed by PTP veteran Michael Hewitt.  This Tony and Drama Desk Award winning play is part Comedy of Errors (mistaken identities are hallmarks of both plays), shaken with a liberal serving of Noises Off (another classic behind-the-scenes play-within-a-play farce), and garnished with the high drama of opera – creating a comedic cocktail that only Ludwig could pull off!


The action all unfolds in a hotel suite in Cleveland, OhioIn the suite is Henry Saunders, the quick-tempered manager of the Cleveland Opera Company, Maggie, his beautiful daughter, and Max, Saunders’ hapless assistant (and Maggie’s hapless boyfriend).  Also in the hotel suite are several doors, an immediate visual reminder that this is a farce, and that we can expect some hilarious comings-and-goings in the comedy that is about to ensue. 

Saunders, Max, and Maggie are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of Tito Merelli, AKA “Il Stupendo,” the world-famous tenor who is going to be starring as the title role in the Cleveland Opera Company’s production of Pagliacci.  The first rehearsal is due to start in ten minutes – and Tito Merelli is nowhere to be found!  Mr. Merelli does eventually arrive, accompanied by all the drama one would expect from a world-famous opera star – and accompanied by his jealous Italian wife Maria, who is suspect of any woman who Tito pays attention to or who pays attention to Tito.  Maria discovers Maggie (who has slipped into a closet to wait to ambush Tito with a request for an autograph) and immediately thinks she is Tito’s secret lover.  Maria writes Tito a “Dear John” letter and storms out.


Tito discovers the letter and is distraught, and unpacks his woes onto Max, who in turn reveals his aspirations to also become an opera singer.  Tito gives Max an impromptu lesson, and Max gives Tito some tranquilizers to help calm his tightly-wound, heartbreak-induced nerves.  Unbeknownst to Max, however, Tito has already had some tranquilizers.  Max leaves the room for a moment and returns to find an unconscious Tito – and Maria’s unsigned “Dear John” letter, which Max mistakes for a suicide note.  Thinking Tito is dead, he and Saunders quickly concoct a plan which results in Max dressing up in the understudy’s Pagliacci costume and makeup and going on for Tito – a solution which turns out to be a roaring success, as Max’s performance wows the audience.


But then Tito wakes up.


Thinking he still has to perform, Tito gets dressed in his Pagliacci costume and makeup.  Once dressed as Pagliacci, no one can tell him and Max apart – which is when this French door farce of mistaken identity is suddenly jet-propelled into a second act of sheer hilarity.


Lend Me a Tenor stars Tom Solomon as Henry Saunders, Haley Brooke Paulissian as his daughter Maggie, Samuel McCart as Maggie’s boyfriend and Saunders’ assistant, James Kusy as Tito Merelli, April Potter as his wife Maria, Ashlee Lujan-Garner as the Cleveland Opera’s lead soprano who has a thing for her leading men, Mary Pieczarka as Julia the high-strung high society Chairwoman of the Opera Guild, and Christopher Bailey Hunter as the hotel’s bellhop.  Don’t miss the show that USA Today dubbed “Uproarious! Hysterical!” and the New York Post lauded as “a rib-tickling comedy.”


January 10, 11, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 at 7:30pm and January 12, 19, 26 at 2:00pm

Tickets: $25 general admission and $10 for students/active military

Buy online at: https://prospect.vbotickets.com

Reserve via phone or email: (209) 549-9341 or ptp.modesto@gmail.com