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Guest Review of Lend Me a Tenor

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Pure laughter is a common goal for traditional comedic plays put on by various theatrical groups. Therefore, South River High School’s production of Lend Me a Tenor encouraged the establishment of the audience’s laughter in many creative and thoughtful ways.

 

Written by Ken Ludwig, this play is set at a Cleveland hotel in the fall of 1934. It tells the story of a famous Tenor, Tito Merelli who signed on to play Otello at a Cleveland Opera Company. Unexpectedly, Tito consumes an abundant amount of tranquilizers resulting in him passing out and Max, an aspiring tenor taking his place in the meantime. On Broadway, receiving nine Tony Award nominations, the play had a chance for a productive portrayal and this production confidently put it on with all their effort.

 

The complex set, in regards to the division of the stage into two separate rooms was intellectually constructed by the Tech Crew and cast. This developed the plot in the righteous direction setting apart their own original version of how to be set apart from the Broadway version. In addition, the makeup of Saunders (Ryan Hoover) was exaggerated in a full extent to create an analogy with Jack Frost. It portrayed the character’s sarcasm in order to reel the audience in on who the character was with the faded grey hair and simple elderly add-ons onto his face.

 

In every scene Tito (Lee Jean) and Max (AJ Fraber) were in with each other, the foil relationship had a lasting impact on the audience. With one already having a scheduled performance at the Opera and the other aspiring to perform at the Opera, it was evidently shown their contrasting personas. Also, featured character, Bellhop’s (Sean Hirsch) flexible abilities with the range in entering into each scene was seen in various standards. Having bold presence is difficult to achieve, but Bellhop made note of his own version of what he wanted his character to be remembered as.

 

A production without microphones would be normally considered “hard to hear” because of the people in the cast’s lack of projection. However, with this production put on by South River was flawless in hearing the lines that were said by the eight characters in the play. Varied lighting had an essential purpose in giving the spotlight toward the characters in each scene and the paparazzi flashes within the scenes that contained it. A smart choice was seen with not too much lighting and not too little lighting which gave to the simplicity of the show.

 

A short Act II ended rapidly with things sorting out and Max transforming into his own self setting apart the Tito that he dressed up as. The full cast brought together the story wrapping it up on a bright tenor note!

 

 

by Sean Hyatt of Franklin

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Guest Review of Lend Me a Tenor