'Lend Me a Tenor' to lend laughter



Steve Walpert guarantees three weekends of laughter as Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre presents Lend Me A Tenor.

“Every audience enjoys a farce. Laughter is the universal medicine for whatever ails you. It should make folks feel good. It’s full of clever lines, hilarious situations, sight gags,” said Walpert, who is directing the show.

Written by Ken Ludwig, Lend Me a Tenor is set in 1934. The Cleveland Grand Opera Company is bringing in the generation’s greatest tenor for a single guest performance. When he arrives late, he accidentally receives a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out.

Saunders, the company’s general manager, persuades his assistant, Max, into donning the costume and covering for the unconscious tenor. Max does fairly well until the star awakes, and then there are two costumed tenors plus, in typical farce fashion, a few women in lingerie running around.

Bryan Mitchell is enjoying taking on the role of Max.

“I love the fact Max goes from this under-appreciated, insecure guy to something much more. He’s funny, naive, loveable and full of energy,” Mitchell wrote in an e-mail.

The farcical style is a favorite of another actor, Tere Luke, who plays Saunders.

“I do love a farce just because they are fast running,” wrote Luke in an e-mail.

Lend Me A Tenor, which won three Tony Awards and four Drama Desk Awards, will be staged Feb. 21, 22 and 28 and March 1, 14 and 15. Dinner will be at 7 p.m. followed by the show at 8 p.m.

Reservations are $45 for civilians, $43 for seniors 65 years old and older, military retirees, active duty military E7 and above and Department of the Army civilians; $35 for active duty military E6 and below and $30 for the show only. For reservations, call (706) 793-8552.

The theater is at 32100 3rd Ave. Enter Fort Gordon at Gate 1 on Gordon Highway; ages 16 and older must show ID, and drivers must show insurance and registration.