"'Lend me a Tenor"

October 12, 2007
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, kmiller26@csub.edu or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720, mnewell1@csub.edu

The hugely popular play "Lend Me a Tenor," by Ken Ludwig, is set to take the stage at California State University, Bakersfield. Performances are scheduled for Nov. 1-3 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. in the Doré Theater on campus.

"Lend Me a Tenor" is a comic farce set in the 1930s that centers around a world-renowned tenor, Tito Merelli, known to his fans as Il Stupendo, who is scheduled to sing the lead in "Otello," produced as a gala fundraiser for the Cleveland Opera. Unfortunately, even before the star leaves his hotel room, everything begins to unravel. Through a hilarious series of mishaps, Il Stupendo is given a double dose of tranquilizers and he passes out. His pulse is so low that Saunders and his assistant Max believe he is dead. What to do? Max is an aspiring singer and Saunders persuades him to get into the Otello costume and try to fool the audience into thinking he is Il Stupendo. Max succeeds admirably, but the real artist comes to and gets into his other costume. Now two Otellos are running around in costume.

The play first opened in March 1986 in London, with its Broadway debut in 1989.

"Mistaken identities, scantily clad divas – there's something for everyone!" said Zoe Saba, the CSUB theater professor who is directing the play and who is the newest addition to the theater faculty. "It's a real pleasure to work with the talented and dedicated theatre students here at CSUB. ~We have a wonderful ensemble cast who works hard every rehearsal to create the raucous comedy and chaotic farce that is 'Lend Me a Tenor.'"

Saba is in her second year teaching acting and creative dramatics at CSUB. She is also the artistic director for the Central Coast Shakespeare Festival in San Luis Obispo. She studied theater at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

The cast of "Tenor" is comprised entirely of CSUB students who enjoy being on stage. "Theater, for me, has always been a way of taking myself out of the harshness of reality and allowing myself to play and enjoy life in a way that others will benefit in some way," said Toni Kerley, who is playing the role of Maggie. "The audiences will have the occasion to see one of the most popular comedies of our time."

Tickets for Lend Me a Tenor are $10 for general admission, $8 for faculty, staff and seniors 60 or older, and $5 for students with ID. The box office opens for each performance one hour before curtain time.

For more information, please call the box office at (661) 654-3150.