KIHEI - ProArts will present Ken Ludwig's "Lend Me a Tenor" as the first show of its spring season.
It's 1934, and the renowned tenor Tito Merelli, known to his fans as "Il Stupendo," is scheduled to sing the lead in "Otello" as a gala fundraiser for the Cleveland Opera Company.
Chaos ensues when Merelli's wife, who has mistaken an autograph-seeker hidden in his closet for a secret lover, leaves him a "Dear John" letter.
From left, Barbara Sedano, Kristin Jones and Lee Garrow eavesdrop in “Lend Me a Tenor.”
The distraught Merelli accidentally is given a double dose of tranquilizers to calm him, and he passes out.
The company's general manager is determined that the show will go on, so he asks his assistant to impersonate the opera star.
What follows is a chain-reaction of mistaken identity, farcical plot twists, double entendres, innuendoes and constant entrances and exits.
On Broadway, "Lend Me A Tenor" received nine Tony Award nominations and won for "Best Actor" and "Best Director."
A Time Out critic called the play a "furiously paced comedy with more than a touch of the Marx brothers A marvelous combination of wonderful farcical moments and funny lines."
The cast for "Lend Me a Tenor" includes Tom Althouse, Kristin Jones, Jennifer Rose, Mark Collmer, Sharleen Lagattuta, Lee Garrow, John L. Mendez and Barbara Sedano.
The show is directed by Lisa Teichner, with costumes designed by Linda Ewing, scenery created by Caro Walker and lighting provided by Bonnie Prucha. ProArts productions are produced by Jonathan Lehman.
Opening night is Friday, Feb. 22, and the show runs until March 10. It plays Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. (no show on Feb. 24).
ProArts offers reserved seats at $20. Kama'aina nights, with discounts for Hawaii residents, are scheduled for Feb. 23 and 28 and March 7.
The intimate ProArts Playhouse is located at the Azeka (Makai) Shopping Center at 1280 S. Kihei Road. The playhouse is air conditioned with 82 reserved seats.
There is free parking, plenty of nearby restaurants and an art gallery inside currently featuring the works of Pat Masumoto and Caro Walker.
"Lend Me a Tenor" is suitable for all audiences.
Call 463-6550 for tickets or more information.