So you're still feeling those "Will spring ever really get here" doldrums. Or you're looking at the calendar and marking off the dreary days before April 15. Or you're upset because the only thing in the news these days is bases being closed, when you'd rather be reading about them being loaded.
Cheer up.Pioneer Theatre Company has the perfect remedy: Instead of taking two pills and going to bed (the central character in this wacko comedy will do that for you), take two tickets - and head for Pioneer Memorial Theatre.
Director Charles Morey can't loan you a hundred bucks, but he can loan you a tenor . . . maybe even two - and he'll toss in a barrel of laughs in the bargain.
"Lend Me a Tenor" is a one-set production - and guest designer Rob Odorisio's replication of a luxurious Cleveland hotel suite is magnificent, complete with six very slammable doors (twice what you get on "Let's Make a Deal").
Behind the main door you'll likely find Henry Saunders (Robert Peterson), the extremely nervous general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, and his trusty gofer, Max (Warren Kelley), who's No. 1 task this Saturday afternoon in September of 1934 is to stick like glue to . . .
Tito Merelli (Bernie Sheredy), the world's most famous (and temperamental) Italian tenor. He should be coming in the door any moment, but he's late for a rehearsal of Verdi's "Otello." When he finally surfaces, you might find him in the kitchen (attempting suicide with a fork) or out in the hallway being hotly pursued by panting women or the police, or just in bed, dead tired.
Open the closet door and you might discover Maggie (Kathleen McCall), Saunders' daughter and Tito's No. 1 American fan. She only wants an autograph - one little, exciting fling before reluctantly saying "Yes" to Max's marriage proposal. (Sorry, that "romantic" night on the lake when Max lost the oars and they drifted for 30 hours doesn't cut it.)
Behind the bathroom door there's Tito's insanely jealous wife, the hot-tempered Maria (Bonnie Black). Fans call Tito "Il Stupendo," but in Maria's book, he's just plain Il Stupido! Tito's penchant for wine and women over song drives her crazy.
Also behind the bathroom door (but not at the same time as Maria) is sexy soprano Diana (Anne Stewart Mark), steaming things up in a bubble bath.
Moving quickly in and out of a variety of doors are Julia Leavenworth, chairman of the Opera Guild (Judith Tillman), and a loony Bellhop (played to the hilt by Richard Mathews).
With these eight characters you have all the ingredients for one "night at the opera" you'll not soon forget. The frenzied pace often resembles the Keystone Kops on the loose in Grand Central Station.
The humor in this show runs the gamut, from naughty double entendres to gallows wit and pretty much "anything goes" in between.
Comparisons are inevitable: Is "Lend Me a Tenor" genuinely funnier than "Noises Off"?
It's apples-and-oranges - even if the fruit is just wax.