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Tenor play a nice vacation from everyday life

Repertory theater's comedy promotes laughter
by: File Photo, Actor MaryAnne Glazebrook plays Julia, the chairwoman of the Cleveland Grand Opera, in Mt. Hood Repertory Theatre’s play, “Lend Me A Tenor.” Max, played by Kirk Mouser, tries desperately to avoid the star struck Julia, who wants his autograph.

Mt. Hood Repertory Theatre has produced its slickest comedy ever in 'Lend Me a Tenor,' which opened July 28 and plays every weekend through Sunday, Aug. 20, at Mt. Hood Community College.

Director Tobias Andersen promoted the play by saying laughter is good for your health, but he failed to warn the audience that too much can make your ribs hurt.

Andersen also said the play 'had no redeeming social message whatsoever.' But a blissful evening enjoying the physical humor of Kirk Mouser and David Maier, the tenors in 'Lend Me a Tenor,' is as good as a vacation. The players' great timing and good acting makes it a joy to watch.

Ken Ludwig's 1989 Broadway play gives Mouser the opening he needs to transform his character, brow-beaten, hand wringing Max, from an errand boy to a star.

Set in the hotel suite of the real opera star, Tito Merelli, played by David Maier, the script is peppered with knockout drops, women in closets, mistaken identities and unabashed slapstick.

Maier and Mouser rip through four acts so energetically that Maier has to be grateful for the brief period that he is passed out and taken for dead.

The two men are joined by a quartet of silly women suited to a silly play. Both the costuming and set are slick and professional. The drop-dead red dress worn by temptress Beth McShane is a knock-out.

The play has seduction, sexual innuendo and the occasional swear word and is better suited for children 13 or older.

Playing opposite 'Lend Me a Tenor' is Gardner McKay's 'Sea Marks,' which will be reviewed at a later date.

Both plays are at Mt. Hood Community College, 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $15-20 at the box office, or can be purchased by calling 503-491-5950.

If you go

What: Mt. Hood Repertory Theatre's 10th annual American Classics Theatre Festival.

When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays through Sunday, Aug. 20.

Where: Mt. Hood Community College.

Tickets: $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students.

For more information: Call 503-491-5950.