‘A Comedy of Tenors’ is a farce, of course
Apple Hill Playhouse staged one of Ken Ludwig’s comedies, “Lend Me a Tenor,” in 2006 with Ron Ferrara of Vandergrift in the director’s chair.
Ferrara also directed the farce for New Kensington Civic Theatre and led productions of other Ludwig shows, “Leading Ladies” and “Fox on the Fairway,” for Apple Hill and NKCT.
The veteran director’s knowledge of Ludwig’s fast-paced, over-the-top comedy style made him a logical choice for Apple Hill’s staging of “A Comedy of Tenors,” the sequel to “Lend Me a Tenor,” opening Sept. 20 at the Delmont theater.
The show is the final production in Apple Hill’s 2018 mainstage summer season.
Up to this point, “I have always considered ‘Lend Me a Tenor’ Ludwig’s best work. Audiences loved his characters; however, this is not your typical sequel, and I have found ‘Comedy of Tenors’ just as funny, if not funnier,” Ferrara says.
Like all great farces, he says “Comedy of Tenors” includes elements of mistaken identity, romance, tasteful sexiness and witty verbal exchanges.
“The audience finds Max (Mike Crosby), Saunders (Wes Paul), Tito (Ray Cygrymus) and Maria (Renee Ruzzi-Kern) two years later. They are joined by more terrific characters, played by Kaylyn Farneth, Jeff Johnston and Rachel Nicely,” Ferrara says.
In the play, the concert of the century is about to take place — if the producer (Saunders) can keep the renowned Italian opera tenor (Tito Merelli) and his wife (Maria) from causing chaos.
Ferrara says theatergoers should expect to laugh “as the actors display the boundless energy and athleticism so important in making a successful farce come to life.”
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review staff writer.