|Ken Ludwig's Comedy of Tenors at the Walnut Street Theatre
posted by Ralph Malachowski on Jan 31, 2019 10:30am | comments
Celebrated playwright Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors is now playing at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre until March 3.
Samuel French describes A Comedy of Tenors in this manner, “Cast size, 4 males, 3 females; Subgenre, Farce; Duration, 120 minutes; Target audience, Adult, Senior, Teen (Age 14-18).” This description will in no way will prepare you for the real thing. A Comedy of Tenors is drop-dead, joyously hilarious. Words like madcap, action-packed, funny, silly, and enjoyable are eminently applicable.
A Comedy of Tenors had its world premiere in 2016 as a co-production between Cleveland Play House and The McCarter Theatre.
The Walnut Street Theatre has again assembled a top-notch cast. To all appearances the actors thoroughly enjoy being onstage, and their joy is infectious. The plot involves a 1930s concert where three celebrated tenors will sing that very night in an arena in Paris, and the myriad situations which naturally, unnaturally, and continually seem to jeopardize that concert. Frank Ferrante, a house favorite, is both director and actor in the role of Tito (and Beppo, a curious, funny turn of the plot) as the starring tenor. Scott Greer, an estimable actor and comedian seen in many productions, is Saunders, the impresario who happens to have been a mayor and self-made man. The debonair, dependable, delectable Ben Dibble is Max, in one of his trademark salt-of-the-earth, good-guy roles. Max is Saunders’ son-in-law and one of the three tenors. Jacob Tischler is Carlo, the third tenor and fiancé of Mimi (Alanna J. Smith), daughter to Tito and Maria (played by the delightful Karen Peakes). Completing the cast is the glamorous soprano and one-time lover of Tito, Racon, here played with comedic gusto by Dreya Weber.
A Comedy of Tenors is the perfect remedy for the Mueller Investigation, Senate intransigence, national unrest, and the national debt. It is a superb, funny comedy just about everyone should see. There is one caveat. For those Italian-Americans who were insulted by the stereotypes on view in the television series, The Sopranos, be forewarned: just about every Italian stereotype is gleefully explored and expanded into stratospheric ridiculousness.
Hurry to The Walnut Street Theatre to see one of the most gleeful, nonsensical comedies of the season. Seeing these master actors will make you want to see them again soon in another production. Can we wish that the same cast could return in You Can’t Take It with You? All of the actors are ideally suited for this Kaufman and Hart classic. Let’s make a wish.
A Comedy of Tenors is now onstage at the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA, until March 3. For more information and for tickets either call 215-574-3550 or visit www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org .