Ken Ludwig’s hilarious 1986 stage play “Lend me a Tenor” is being performed by Sierra Vista Community Theatre, a nonprofit theatrical group that got its start in June 2019.
Productions are in the theatre’s new location at The Mall at Sierra Vista with shows running Friday through Sunday, then picking up again on March 7 and 8.
“The Sierra Vista Community Theatre is on the same level as Gaslight,” said Cassandra Weisgerber, president of the nonprofit’s board of directors. “It’s a professional theater, but we are funded through donations and sponsors.”
Along with Cassandra Weisgerber, the group’s original founding members are Jack Turner, Dimitri Wilker and Peggy Weisgerber, who is Cassandra’s mother-in-law.
“This stage play is probably best described as a ‘madcap comedy’ and is extremely hilarious,” said Cassandra, adding that the play has won three Tony Awards and four Drama Desk Awards. Set in September 1934, the comedy is filled with a list of amusingly reckless sequences and hilarious misunderstandings with characters that are completely unaware of what is happening around them.
The story starts when Cleveland Grand Opera Company general manager Maggie Saunders, played by Mariah Fiege, is primed to welcome world-famous tenor Tito Merelli — known as ‘Stupendo’ — who is to appear as the star of the Cleveland opera for one night.
Tito arrives late and, through a series of mishaps, is given a double dose of tranquilizers which causes him to pass out. His pulse is so low that Saunders and her assistant Max, played by Jordan Shaaf, believe the super star is dead. In a frantic attempt to salvage the evening’s production, Saunders convinces Max to step into Mereilli’s costume and fool the audience into thinking he’s “Stupendo.”
“This screwball comedy is guaranteed to leave audiences in stitches,” Cassandra said.
The play is directed by Peggy Weisgerber who brings 45 years of live theater direction to the area.
“I owned my own theater company for 35 years in three different states,” Peggy said. “This is our second production since Sierra Vista Community Theatre got its start. “We moved into our new location inside The Mall at Sierra Vista in November and christened the space with an Edgar Allen Poe show that featured excerpts from ‘The Tell Tale Heart’ and ‘The Fall of the House of Usher.’”
Sierra Vista Community Theatre was established to promote the arts through live performance, education and community involvement.
“Lend Me a Tenor” tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for Sierra Vista Community Theatre members and $10 for those 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased by going to www.svcommunitytheatre.org.
Seating is limited, so the community is urged to purchase tickets in advance.