The outrageous Ken Ludwig comedy opens Wednesday

Grab your seat and prepare for a wild show.

On a night when everything is supposed to go right, madness ensues with an accidental drugging, mistaken identities, grape throwing and door slamming.

Ken Ludwig’s comedy “Lend Me a Tenor” opens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, at Sam Barlow High School with a cast of eight students.

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO -  The cast of 'Lend Me a Tenor' is made up of eight Barlow High students. The play debuts Wednesday, March 13, at the high school.

“It’s a lot more racy for a high school play,” said Trevor Fonvergne, a senior. “It’s definitely rated PG-13.”

The night a famed tenor is to sing the lead in “Otello” for the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, a comedy of mishaps erupts, leading him to accidentally take a double dosage of tranquilizers.

Insistent that the show must go on, the general manager enlists the help of an impersonator, spurring laughable mistaken identities, mixed signals and misunderstandings.

“It’s a lot more relatable than our other plays,” said Natalie Bettelyoun, a junior. “I think this will keep students’ attention.”

Bettelyoun plays Maria, a crazy Italian wife, and has channeled inspiration from Gloria Pritchett in the TV series “Modern Family.”

“I get to blow up and not worry about going crazy because that’s pretty much what I do,” Bettelyoun said. “I’ve always been better at being a caricature than a serious role, so it’s a natural fit.”

As Max, assistant to the opera producer, Fonvergne gets caught up in all sorts of chaos.

“I had to find a balance between him being really nerdy and annoying and a person the audience would want to root for,” Fonvergne said.

“Lend Me a Tenor” was produced on London’s West End in 1986 and Broadway in 1989, receiving nine Tony Award nominations and winning for best actor and director. The Broadway revival opened in 2010.

The Barlow production is directed by Ronda McBeth and also features sophomores Ellie Leach and Megan Espinoza, and juniors Erik Scott, Dalton Flynn, Lucas Buchanan and Katie Lor. All of the actors have previous stage experience.

“The production plays to everyone’s strength,” Fonvergne said. “It’s the best play we could be doing with the people we have.”

If You Go

What: "Lend Me a Tenor," a comedy by Ken Ludwig.

When: 7:30 p.m. March 13, 14, 15 and 16 and 3 p.m. March 17.

Where: Sam Barlow High School's auditorium, 5105 S.E. 302nd Ave., Gresham.

Tickets: $8 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens.

Reservations and info: Call 503-258-4898 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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