COLLEGE Players Padhraic Hastings knows a good gig when it presents. His enthusiasm for Ken Ludwig’s show ‘Lend Me a Tenor’, theirs to perform in Lime Tree Theatre November 12 to 16 , is fuelled by College Players’ hit with Ludwig’s ‘Leading Ladies’ in 2011. And of course, certain knowledge of a plum role in the midst of chaos in Cleveland.
“We are delighted to be back with a comedy having decided to pick another pearl from Ludwig’s particular repertoire. We are also back for the second time this year in Lime Tree Theatre”. [Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’ in Spring]
Hastings plays the hard nosed manager of Verdi Hotel, a swish joint in 1930s Ohio, and invites everybody through those opulent doors for a riot of a night: “We are a community funded theatre group that does not get state funding and we depend on the kindness of friends”.
Whither shall we sally? Director Joan McGarry Moore flags the story of “world famous tenor, Il Stupendo (Brian McNamara) about to make his American debut in Cleveland. Whether he is over sedated or plied with drink on arrival, he is presumed dead”.
With Verdi’s role of Othello to fill, the impressario’s assistant Max (Dave Griffin), gifted singer in his own right, “‘blacks up’ and the two Othellos wind up chasing each other all over the set, this plush hotel in Ohio”. Cue and queue sundry females, hot to trot after these alpha (chortle) males.
Rebecca Murphy plays chair of the opera board, “a committee hound and desperate cougar, still looking to get my way at the end of the night”; Beena Day plays “a sweet young thing, infatuated, who doesn’t realise how close to home her source of delight is” and Sinead O’Sullivan is Maria, Il Stupendo/ Tito Merelli’s rightfully jealous wife.
Then there’s Jean McGlynn cast as the super glam vamp whose moral compass teeters to base camp, always.
Whose left? Handsome bellhop Nigel Mooney, who back in 1996 was in the audience for College Players’ first production of ‘Lend Me a Tenor’ and who grew up to work as a professional tenor/ actor himself.
This musically gifted cast is guaranteed to service the dozen or so songs brilliantly. Book for November 12-16 on www.limetreetheatre.ie