The Linfield Department of Theatre and Communication Arts opened its first play of the season, a comedy by Ken Ludwig, titled “Lend Me A Tenor” on Nov. 4 in the Marshall Theatre in Ford Hall.
The play, set in 1934, is about a famous opera singer, Tito Morelli, Il Stupendo, who is supposed to perform at the Cleveland Grand Opera Company for one night.
Saunders, the general manager of the opera company, constantly puts down his employee, Max. When Tito arrives late and sick to the show, Max tries to win his boss’ approval by helping him out and giving him sleeping pills. However, Tito takes too large of a dose and passes out. Saunders and Max think that he overdosed and died.
To get a handle on the situation, Max pretends to be Tito, fooling everyone and filling in for him in the show. Eventually, Tito comes to and is ready to perform.
The rest of the play turns into a confusing scenario of mistaken identity between Tito and Max and the women who pine for them, cast member freshman Ellen Brahe said.
Brahe plays the lead female role, Maggie, who is Max’s girlfriend. Max asks her to marry him, and she says no because she wants to wait. She declined because she is obsessed with Tito and wants to lose her virginity to him, Brahe said.
“Maggie is a busybody; her character is everywhere,” Brahe said. “She wants to charm [Tito] and fall in love.”
This was Brahe’s first formal audition and casting at Linfield and the first time she has ever played a female role in her acting career, she said.
“Playing Maggie has gotten me to open up my femininity,” she said. “It’s been a real journey for me.”
“Lend Me A Tenor” also opened up new experiences for male lead, junior Jeremy Moll, who plays Tito.
“I had to step out of my comfort zone because my character is so energetic, and it was a challenge acting ‘dead,’” Moll said. “This was by far the most in-depth I have been in a role.”
Besides Tito’s drama onstage, there is a lot of action off stage such as, running from the police and getting sick in the bathroom, Moll said.
“It is a great script, and I really enjoyed it,” he said. “It is clever, entertaining and fits together well.”
Other students cast in the play are freshman Jenny Layton; sophomores Chris Forrer, Aaron Granum, Jenaveve Linabery and Claudia Ramirez; and senior Chris Lambert.
Approximately 39 students auditioned for a part in the play; however, there were only eight spots available, Brahe said.
Janet Gupton, associate professor of theatre arts and resident director, chose and directed the play.
“I recommend anyone to watch this play because it is a whimsical comedy,” Brahe said. “The misidentity is a big part of the comical aspect.”
Tickets can be purchased at the Marshall Theatre Box Office by phone, on the Web or in person. General admission is $9; seniors, 62 and over, and Linfield faculty and staff pay $7; and student tickets are $5. Student tickets can be purchased for $3 on Nov. 5.
“Lend Me A Tenor” will be performed Nov. 4-6 and 11-13 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. in the Marshall Theatre in Ford Hall.
For more information about purchasing tickets, visit www.linfield.edu/arts-and-culture.html.
Jessica Prokop/Culture editor
Jessica Prokop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org