The Village Playbox Presents Hilarious Farce: LEND ME A TENOR

by Patricia Bradford

The Village Playbox presents LEND ME A TENOR
By Ken Ludwig
Directed by Steve Allen
May 8, 2015 through May 23, 2015

LEND ME A TENOR, a comedy by Ken Ludwig, runs for three weekends starting Friday, May 8th. The three-time Tony Award winner has been called “the most inventive, original farce in a long time.”

Set in September 1934, Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is primed to welcome Tito Morelli, “Il Stupendo,” the greatest tenor of his generation, to appear for one night only as Otello.

The star arrives late and through a series of hilarious mishaps is given a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out. His pulse is so low that Saunders and his assistant Max believe he’s dead. In a frantic attempt to salvage the evening, Saunders persuades Max to get into Morelli’s Otello costume and fool the audience into thinking he’s “Il Stupendo.”

Max succeeds admirably, but Morelli comes to and gets into his spare costume, ready to perform. Now two Otellos are charging around in costume with two lingerie-clad women in pursuit, each thinking she has seduced “Il Stupendo.”

This madcap screwball comedy is guaranteed to leave audiences teary-eyed with laughter.

Steve Allen of Berlin directs the talented ensemble cast. Gary Kochey of Sicklerville stars as “Il Stupendo,” the world-famous opera singer. Laura Bongiovanni, of Carneys Point, portrays Max’s girlfriend Maggie. Julia, the chair of the opera guild, is played by Nancy Popolow of Cherry Hill. Greg Northam of Haddon Heights is Saunders, the General Manager of the Cleveland Opera company. Max, Saunders’ assistant and “Il Stupendo” stand-in, is played by Steven Ciapanna. Anita Rowland of Haddonfield appears as Maria, the long-suffering, hot-tempered wife of “Il Stupendo.” Lauren Picerno is Diana, the opera’s ingènue soprano. Kevin Dahm of Sewell brings the comic relief as the Bellhop, who always shows up at the wrong time.

LEND ME A TENOR opens on Friday, May 8th at 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Haddon Heights and continues on Fridays and Saturdays through May 23rd. Matinees are 3 p.m. on May 10th and 17th. Tickets for adults are $13 online and $15 at the door; student tickets are $8 online and $10 at the door. For additional information, call 856-534-6960 or visit us at

A special Mother’s Day Dessert Theatre is planned for audience members on May 10th. More information about these events is available on our website.

The First Presbyterian Church of Haddon Heights is located at 28 7th Avenue. The theater entrance is on Green Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. The theater is handicapped accessible. Street parking is available

The Village Playbox is in its 75th year of operation.

Theater/Organization The Village Playbox
Theater/Organization Website:

Theater/Organization Address: 28 Seventh Avenue Haddon Heights, New Jersey 08009 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (856) 534-6960

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