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Missy Shaw-Brown as Maria confronts Andy Casanave as Tito in the Lake Charles Little Theatre’s production of ''Lend Me a Tenor.'' (Michelle Higginbotham / Special to the American Press)

Missy Shaw-Brown as Maria confronts Andy Casanave as Tito in the Lake Charles Little Theatre’s production of ''Lend Me a Tenor.'' (Michelle Higginbotham / Special to the American Press)

Lake Charles Little Theatre’s presentation full of comedic confusion

Last Modified: Thursday, November 01, 2012 5:34 PM

By Cliff Seiber / American Press

In the tradition of Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors,” the Lake Charles Little Theatre’s second offering of its 86th season draws its humor from misunderstandings that ignite a riot of hilarious conflicts and story twists. “Lend Me a Tenor” opened Saturday, Nov. 3, and will continue weekends through Sunday, Nov. 18.

Performances at New Stable Playhouse will be at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays.

The 2012-2013 season is off to a good start, Jo Ann Hanks, assistant director of “Lend Me a Tenor,” said. The opening show, the revue “On With The Show,” was well-received.

“It was one of the best-selling shows in years,” Hanks said.

The current offering has pulled together well.

“We only had five weeks of rehearsals, but the cast and crew hit the ground running, and it will be a good show,” she said. Hanks, who plays a diva in the opera-themed story, had her own last-minute push, stepping into the role after the original player had to drop out.

The play is directed by Frank Cooper of Jennings, a veteran player at A Block Off Broadway Theatre in Jennings and LCLT. He has been at the helm of two stagings for ABOB, and this will be his directorial debut at LCLT.

Written by Tony-winning American playwright and director Ken Ludwig, “Lend Me a Tenor” was introduced in a summer theater in New Hampshire and produced in a 10-month run beginning in 1986 in London’s West End and 467 performances on Broadway in 1998-1999.

It earned Ludwig his first Tony nomination. A musical version was produced, but the LCLT is presenting the original version, sans melodies and lyrics.

The story revolves around a mythical production of “Othello” by the Cleveland Grand Opera Company. World-renowned tenor Tito Morelli is booked to perform the title role for the company’s season opener and fundraiser. But just before he is to go to the theater, he receives a Dear John letter from his wife. She discovered a young female autograph-seeker in their closet and assumes her husband is having an affair with the girl. In despair, the singer gets drunk and is unable to go on.

Saunders, the harried general manager of the opera, hoped the event would put Cleveland on the cultural map. But his disabled star sets off panic, and the result is comedic confusion that Shakespeare first made famous.

Members of the cast are Cameron Scallan, Kirsten Ervin, Chris Sarver, Andrew Casanave, Missy Shaw-Brown, Courtney Howard, Jo Ann Hanks and Ellie Marquez. Costumes are by Jo Ann Rigney.


If you go

• Lake Charles Little Theatre’s production of “Lend Me a Tenor” will be performed at New Stable Playhouse, 813 Enterprise Blvd., Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 18. Performances are at 2 p.m. Sundays and 7:30 p.m. the other days. There will be a reception on opening night.

Tickets are $20 each for adults, $15 for seniors and students. For a group of 10 or more, $10 per ticket. Reservations can be made at www.theLCLT.com or at 433-7988. New Stable Playhouse is across the street from the Lake Charles city police station.

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