COLDWATER – The hilarious farce of backstage shenanigans and mistaken identities will hit the stage with Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me a Tenor,” closing out the 60th consecutive season of Tibbits Summer Theatre July 27-Aug 5.
This madcap, screwball comedy is guaranteed to leave audiences teary-eyed with laughter. Set in 1934, Henry Saunders, the General Manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is ready to welcome world-famous singer Tito Merelli for his starring role. Alas, Tito arrives late, his tempestuous wife Maria has a fit of jealousy, and it remains to be seen whether Saunders’ mousy but determined assistant Max can save the day.
Director Charles Burr said, “I am thrilled to get my hands on ‘Lend Me a Tenor’ for its return to the Tibbits stage. It is one of the best American comedies of the late 20th century. I have a long history directing Ken Ludwig’s plays—and it all started with the success of the 1991 production of ‘Tenor.’ It’s funny, it’s sexy and it’s incredibly fast paced—a true work out for the actors.”
Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me a Tenor” is directed by former Artistic Director Burr. The professional cast includes long-time Tibbits alums including Paul Kerr as Tito, Gloria Logan as Julia, Brenda Sparks as Maria, Chad Tallon as bellhop along with Kate Turner as Maggie, Cheyanne Osoria as Diana, Johnny Doty as Max, and Jim Hessleman as Saunders.
The design staff features Jaye Beetem as scenic designer, Ashlynn Swauger as costume designer, and Tyler Evans as lighting designer. Props are by Ray Louise Sunshine, Luis Guzman Galdos joins as sound designer, with Aaron Bell as technical director, and Ariel Sheets as production stage manager.
Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me a Tenor” is generously sponsored by Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C., located in Coldwater and Battle Creek. This marks its 22nd season as a sponsor of Tibbits Summer Theatre, demonstrating its commitment to the arts and the community. James A. Fisher, the Firm’s President stated: “We believe Tibbits Theatre in general, and its excellent summer program of plays in particular, are a wonderful asset for Coldwater and all of Branch County. We are happy to support the fine work and productions Tibbits Theatre offers year after year.”
Tibbits also receives grant funding from the Michigan Arts & Culture Council as well as the National Endowment for the Arts.
Tickets for Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me a Tenor” range from $20-43 including fees. Discounts are available for Tibbits members, groups and students. Performances run July 27, 28, 29, Aug 3, 4, and 5 at 7:30pm with 2pm matinees on July 27 and Aug 2. Tickets are available online at Tibbits.org, in person at the Tibbits Box Office located inside the theatre or at the Tibbits Admin Office at 93 W. Chicago Street Monday-Friday 9-5, by calling 517-278-6029. All tickets are charged a facility/ticketing fee whether in person or not; there are no additional fees for ordering online.
To add to the Tibbits experience, Tibbits Ghost Light Bar in the theatre’s art gallery is open before the show and at intermission. Patrons are also invited to view current art gallery exhibit or the historic exhibit displays throughout the theatre.
During the run of Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me a Tenor” Popcorn Theatre for families will also present “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and Disney’s animated film “Encanto” Friday and Saturday mornings through August 5.
All performances are held at the beautiful historic Tibbits Opera House, 14 S. Hanchett Street, in Coldwater. For more information, call or visit Tibbits.org.