Ringgold Playhouse holding auditions for “Lend Me a Tenor” May 1-2
The Ringgold Playhouse (TRP) will hold its next round of open auditions May 1-2 for the classic farce “Lend Me a Tenor,” which will run for seven performances in late July.
The show, a hilarious American farce by Ken Ludwig, will be directed by Kimberly Tyner Jones and has roles available for four men and four women ages 20-80.
“This show is such an amazing piece of theatre,” Tyner Jones said. “There is one slapstick moment after another, and the challenge for me will be the precise timing of each moment, intricate blocking, sight gags, and frequent entrances and exits utilizing six doors. For the audience, it is a nonstop hilarious ride of mistaken identity and double entendre leading to rash assumptions that have outrageous results.”
“Lend Me A Tenor” by Ken Ludwig is a door-slamming, dress-dropping farce with mistaken identities, mischievous misunderstandings and compromising positions. This Ludwig farce is set in September 1934. Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is primed to welcome the world famous Tito Morelli, II Stupendo, the greatest tenor of his generation, to appear for one night only as “Otello.” The star arrives late, and through a hilarious series of mishaps, is given a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out. His pulse is so low that Saunders and his assistant, Max, believe he’s dead. In a frantic attempt to salvage the evening, Saunders persuades Max to get into Morelli’s “Otello” costume and fool the audience into thinking he’s II Stupendo. Max succeeds admirably, but Morelli comes to, and gets into his other costume ready to perform. Now two Otellos are running around in costume and two women are running around in lingerie, each thinking she is with II Stupendo. A sensation on Broadway and in London’s West End, this madcap, screwball comedy is guaranteed to leave audiences teary-eyed with laughter.
Performance dates for the production are July 20-22 and 27-29.
MAX: (20s - mid 30s) Assistant to Saunders - An aspiring singer. His worst enemy is his own lack of selfconfidence. He spends his time as a doormat to his future father-in-law and trying to convince Maggie that he is marriage material. NOTE: This role requires the actor to sing Italian Arias and, at times, speak in an Italian accent.
MAGGIE: (20s - 30s) Max’s Girlfriend - pretty, quirky; a young woman who doesn’t want to settle for the seemingly mundane life she has with Max. She longs for an adventurous fling, one which will allow her to “hear bells.”
SAUNDERS: (mid 50s) Maggie’s father and the general Manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company - authoritarian; an uptight man with a short fuse, most of which he takes out on Max. He owns the pressure of the Opera Company.
TITO: (30s - 40s) A World Famous Tenor known also to his fans as Il Stupendo - imposing; a womanizing Italian who loves Maria, but finds difficulty resisting the advances of the opposite sex, who seem to advance frequently and with considerable momentum. NOTE: This role requires the actor to sing Italian Arias and speak in an Italian accent.
MARIA: (30s) Tito’s wife - Sophia Loren-type: busty, proud, and excitable; a passionate and temperamental Italian woman who is growing weary of her husband’s wandering eye (and body) for the opposite sex. NOTE: This role requires the actor to speak in an Italian accent.
BELLHOP: (18 and over) A bellhop - a highly energetic fan of Tito’s, who uses his occupation to get close to the international star. NOTE: This role requires the actor to sing.
DIANA: (mid 30s) a soprano with the Cleveland Grand Opera Company - beautiful, sexy; a member of the opera company who has been “flinging her way through the whole cast.” Playing Desdemona opposite Tito, she thinks that he might be her ticket out of Cleveland into the big time.
JULIA: (60s) Chairman of the Opera Guild - over the hill, ex-diva, for whom the Cleveland Grand Opera Company is the center of her small pretentious world.
“For the actors, this show will be a challenge of physical comedy and timing,” Tyner Jones said. “Though there is some singing for Max, Tito and the Bellhop, the playwright himself says what is most important is the acting. As long as the actors can carry a tune, they should give this audition a shot. As for the remainder of the cast, there’s no singing, but lots of physicality. The characters are very over the top.”
Auditions will take place at the historic Ringgold Depot at 7 p.m. each evening and will consist of cold reads from the script, with some actors to sing a short, informal song for certain roles. If callbacks are needed, they will be held on Wednesday evening, May 3, likewise at 7 p.m.
Anyone seeking additional information can contact the director at 423-800-2552.
The show’s cast has been the talk of the local theatre community due to their outstanding performances. From left: Levi Witt as “Jason,” Timothy Shields as “Howie,” Laurie Shaw as “Becca,” Whitney Standefer-Smith as “Izzy,” and Kimberly Tyner Jones as “Nat”. (Contributed photo/TRP)
Kimberly Tyner Jones