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Whitman Tunes Up 'Tenor'

“Lend Me a Tenor,” the comedy by Tony-award nominee Ken Ludwig, will be in the spotlight from May 1-4 at Walt Whitman High School.

The play, which started on Broadway at the Royale Theatre in 1989, takes place in September 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio. Henry Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, Maggie, his daughter, and Max, his assistant (and Maggie’s boyfriend) are awaiting the arrival of Tito Merelli, the world-renowned Italian tenor who will be performing in the role of Cyrano de Bergerac in the gala season-opener. Somehow, Tito gets a double dose of tranquilizers and, in addition to the wine he has been drinking, he passes out. Max and Saunders find Tito and believe he has killed himself. Left with very little time until curtain and no opera star, Max and Saunders must devise a plan to make sure the show goes on. Thrown into the mix is an adoring fan of Tito’s who happens to be the hotel bellboy, Tito’s jealous wife Maria, the diva/seductress soprano playing opposite Tito, and the Chairwoman of the Opera Guild.

In addition to the primary cast, which will be performing Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m., a freshman-only cast will be performing in a special matinee on Sunday. Tickets can be ordered online at www.whitmantheatre.org, by phone at 301-320-6569, or in person on April 30 from 6-8 p.m. or on show nights after 6:30 p.m.