MHS Drama Club’s Lend Me a Tenor to debut this weekend

Charlie MacKenzie | Staff Writer

Lend Me a Ticket.

Tonight, January 23, is the opening night of Drama Club’s production of Lend Me a Tenor, a comedy written by Ken Ludwig. Lend Me a Tenor follows a world-famous opera singer named Tito Merelli, who is performing Otello for the Cleveland Opera Company. Tito is accidentally given a double dose of tranquilizers, and Saunders, the house manager, believes that Tito is dead. He dresses up Max, his assistant, to take the place of Tito and sets off a series of slapstick humor and hilarity.

According to senior Ryley Arnold, who plays Tito, the constant action and craziness that happens throughout the play will be his favorite thing to see unfold onstage.

Lend Me a Tenor is filled with sight gags,” Arnold said. “Slamming doors, chases, wacky kisses and two men dressed in time period Otello costumes. What more can you ask for? I’ve enjoyed getting to see every minute of it and I can’t wait for our audiences to see everything we have in store for them.”

The drama club put on The Miracle Worker in the fall, and according to the director Thurman Allen, the two plays are polar opposites.

The Miracle Worker was a drama dealing with serious issues: the nature of family, communication, what makes us human,” Allen said. “Lend Me a Tenor has none of that. It is a farce, its purpose simply to make the audience laugh and laugh a lot. The Miracle Worker wanted you to think; Lend Me a Tenor wants you to forget about thinking and laugh.”

According to Arnold, opening night is a rewarding moment after spending months working on the play for everyone involved.

“The entire cast and crew has worked incredibly hard for months on this show; opening night is a glorious night where we get to show off this show that has our love, sweat and tears poured into it,” Arnold said. “There’s nothing like the adrenaline that fills the air around us on opening night. It’ll be a magical night. It will also be great to hear the laughs from our audiences — we’ve been rehearsing for so long that a lot of the jokes aren’t as funny as they used to be.”

Junior Brandon Cole, who plays Max, says that the mistaken identity between Tito and Max is one of the funniest moments in the play.

“My favorite part of the show is in Act II when there is a bunch of mistaken identity,” Cole said. “Everyone thinks that Max is the world-famous singer, Tito. Two girls named Maggie and Diana try to put the moves on Max. It’s really funny.”

The show costs $8 for Mason students, and Arnold said that the low price and the hours of great comedy is all the reason to watch the play.

“We spend the entire week stressing over homework, tests and — for us seniors — getting our college plans mapped out,” Arnold said. “Come spend two hours of your weekend just having a great time enjoying an hilarious show. Besides, a show at Mason is only $8 for students. When was the last time you paid only $8 at the movies? You’re guaranteed a great time.”

Allen says that the feedback he has gotten has on the play is positive and he hopes that he continues to get more once the play opens.

“Most everyone who has seen it talks about how funny it is and how fun the characters are,” Allen said. “Hopefully we’ll get even more feedback once it opens this weekend.”

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Photos by Staff Writer Arnav Damodhar