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Lend Me a Tenor
a Farce
by Ken Ludwig

COMPANY : Holly Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Holly Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 1619

SHOWING : May 12, 2006 - May 28, 2006



A struggling opera company has high hopes that the performance of a world class tenor will turn around their fortunes. But an accidental overdose of phenobarbitol and a jealous wife may unseat everyone's plans by the end of the night!

Director Jamie Fambrough
Diana Marissa Chancon
Julia Jan Fambrough
Saunders Damon Frost
The Bellhop Craig Lovell
Maggie Saunders Colleen Quigley
Maria Merelli Linda Thompson
Tito Merelli Bill Wilson
Max Judson Wright
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Bust a gut.
by Holly Ghost
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
It always makes me so happy to see a comedy at my favorite "haunt". "Lend Me a Tenor" is a fabulously funny ride. I almost bust a "ghoulish gut" during some of the antics in Act II.

Judson Wright takes the stage as a lead after quite a sebaticle. He does a great job as Max. I have a feeling that the character wasn't that big of a stretch for him. At times, I did feel that he was pushing too hard for some of the laughs. I think a lot of his comedy was a bit strained and forced. In his defense the audience the night that I saw the performance was should I put this...more "dead" than I am! However, that being said...I do feel that he carried the show well and really did an excellent job as a leading actor.

Damon Frost is a newbie to the Holly stage as well, I believe. He plays Saunders. He is a very cute man and enjoyable and likeable on stage. Saunders is such an agressive and biting character and Damon was such a sweet-seeming man that at times I had a hard time seeing him as Saunders. On the same hand however, I believe that some of his "sweetness" comes from his voice. He doesn't have one of those huge, loud booming voices that you would expect from his character. That being said, he made the character work with his voice. I don't know if I am making any sense at all...but Damon did a very nice characterization of Saunders.

Linda favorite character in the entire play! Maria...Tito's wife. I can't say enough good about her. Her Italian accent was fantastic, her look was fantastic, her comedic timing was fantastic! I hope that she will be in more shows at the Holly. I have been going around saying "I'm'a gonna geeve a you tree, two, tree". So funny. Bravo.

Tito Merelli a.k.a. Bill Wilson graces the stage with another bought of post-prandial pains. I am beginning to wonder if it is in this guy's contract that he will only play parts that the characters suffer from gastric grief (Big Daddy...need I say more?) Okay...enough said about his gas. Bill is hysterical! I was so pleasantly surprised to see that he was such a talented comedic actor. I assumed that he was mostly a dramatic actor after having seen him in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". His performance as Tito was great! His bewildered looks in that black-face are unforgettable!

Craig Lovell, like Linda, plays a very small part in the play. But I think I am safe in saying that he is an audience favorite with the few lines that he does have. He plays the singing bell hop and even the senior audience that I viewed the show with was applauding him by the end of the show. I wonder if the singing of the scenes was written in the script or added to the show. If it was added BRAVO to whomever decided to do that. I found it funny that the bellhop sang better opera than any of the rest of them.

Colleen Quigley, appears once again as Maggie on stage. The scenes between she and Judson were great. Her character was very youthful and fun. I don't know how she kept a straight face at times...especially the times when she had the black grease paint all over her face. Very funny stuff.

This show surprised me with appearances by several greenhorns. Jan Fambrough and Marissa Chancon are two former OK chorus girls. In "Tenor" they grace the stage as leads.

Jan Fambrough (who just so happens to be the director's mother) is outstanding. I was able to cast from my mind any thoughts of nepotism after her first scene. She plays the part of Julia...the chairman of the opera guild. She is delightfully "high-society" and her chrysler-buildingesque gown topped off with that lovely silver/grey hair was too much. She was beautiful.

Marissa plays the part of Diana...the opera company's whore. She did a very good job, but sometimes she seemed a little uncomfortable on stage and her lines a little stiff. That being said, I did laugh the hardest at one of her scenes. The double-entendre laiden scene between she and Tito is hysterical. I hope to see her again on stage soon.

Overall...great show. Director Jamie Fambrough has masterfully directed another side splitting comedy. The curtain call was very innovative. They did the entire show in 90 seconds...very funny and amazing to watch all of those doors opening and closing without someone running into them. Jamie adds so much to the Holly shows he directs and they are very fortunate to have him as a director. Justin Gilstrap on lights and sound did a wonderful job as there were not snaffoos in the sound or light. KUDOS to all.

Hope you guys get bigger's a shame audiences are missing it. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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