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Lend me a tenor

Ken Ludwig



Theater Smaroula

1989



In 1934, the renowned tenor Tito Merelli, known to his fans as "Il Stupendo," is scheduled to sing

the lead in Otello.The opera is being produced as a gala fundraiser for the Cleveland Opera Company.

Unfortunately, even before the star leaves his hotel room, everything begins to unravel.

Chaos ensues when Merelli's wife, who has mistaken an autograph-seeker hidden in his closet

for a secret lover, leaves him a "Dear John" letter. The distraught Merelli accidentally is given a double dose

of tranquilizers to calm him and passes out. Saunders, the company's General Manager, is determined

that the show will go on (for his own financial sake), so he asks his assistant Max to impersonate the opera

star.Meanwhile, an ambitious bellhop, named Frank attempts to meet Merelli, but instead gets in an ongoing

feud with Saunders. The most outrageous scene in the play occurs when Frank the Bellhop tries to get a picture

with Merelli, and is chased by Saunders, Julia (the opera's chairwoman), and Maggie throughout the hotel, until

they, literally run into Max, disguised as Tito. Max puts on the blackface makeup required for the role

of Otello, and his disguise succeeds admirably until Merelli, also in blackface, wakes up and heads for the

stage. What follows is a chain-reaction of mistaken identity, farcical plot twists, double entendres, innuendoes,

and constant entrances and exits through many doors.



Directed by Costas Arzoglou

Translated by Elena Akrita

Designed by Yorgos Asimakopoulos



George Kimoulis (Max)



George Kimoulis (Max), Costas Arzoglou (Tito)



Cast:

Saunders: Tryfon Karatzas

Tito Merelli: Costas Arzoglou

Frank the Bellhop: Vladimiros Kiriakidis

Maria: Tatiana Papamoshou

Diana: Eleni Strati

Max: George Kimoulis

Maggie: Eleni Kourkoula

Julia: Sofia Olympiou