|Emily Crouse, Brian Koehler|
Mrs. Flanery's productions are always delightful, and this year's performance of Lend Me a Tenor, a Comedy in Two Acts by Ken Ludwig, was absolutely no exception. It was quick-paced, quick-witted, well-acted, and it kept the audience in stitches from start to finish.
The story is set in a hotel room in Cleveland in 1934. Opera coordinator Henrietta Saunders, played perfectly by Miss Jane Binsfeld, and her excitable, quick-speaking and star-struck daughter Maggie (Miss Emily Crouse), along with Maggie's boyfriend Max (Mr. Brian Koehler), himself an aspiring young tenor, are all anticipating the imminent arrival of famous operatic tenor Tito Merelli (Mr. Steve Crouse), who is in town to perform the part of Othello for the Cleveland Opera.
|Donna Kallal, Steve Crouse|
The case of mistaken identity plays out with hilarity as the remaining cast members approach the real Tito, "alive" again and in full Othello costume and make-up, all referencing his brilliant performance that evening, which he clearly knows nothing about. Whether it was Miss Lucretia Payne as Diana, an up-and-coming actress begging his positive review for her acting abilities, Miss Violanta Shamija as a hotel bellhop in pursuit of his autograph, or Mrs. Donna Kallal as the over-the-top socialite Julia, who desires every available spotlight on herself, each brought their quick-witted lines with skill and ease to the laughter of the audience.
It would be impossible to single out a star of the show, for the roles were perfectly cast and all played so well. But I must say Steve Crouse was terrific as Tito, the hot-blooded Italian with the Bob Newhart delivery. Dry as a bone and hilarious all the while. And Mrs. Flanery played an equally or more hot-blooded Italian wife Maria with the perfect "out-of-my-way!" Italian accent. And you'd better get out of her way or you might catch a face-full of her disdainful spit! An incomparable pair, those two!
|Jane Binsfeld, Hilary Flanery, Donna Kallal|
What an evening! Catered by Genesis catering company, the dinner of roast beef, sides and desserts was delicious, and the company of good friends in the festive Laetare (rejoice!) atmosphere was sublime.
What better way to spend the 4th Sunday of Lent, that Laetare day, breaking the fast momentarily before settling back in for the last penitential weeks before we remember solemnly Christ's Passion! Truly it is His Liturgy in our lives. Deo Gratias!
And so now, dear readers, make certain plans for Laetare Sunday, 2016. Do not miss the Queens Players in their 15th Annual Laetare Dinner Theater weekend. Mark your calendars now, you'll be delighted that you did!
Halfway thru Lent
And we're not spent
It is Laetare Day!
Nor more repent
We make a dent
In fasting, feast away!
Ambrosia spread so hearty!
Then after nine
All fetes consign to
Lent...after our Cast party!!