'Lend Me A Tenor' returns to McKeesport Little Theater
When the curtain goes up on McKeesport Little Theater's latest production, theater-goers may think they are attending an opera performance. But don't put too much into a name.
In this case, “Lend Me A Tenor.” If you think it's about an opera, you would be right — in a manner of speaking.
Describing the show, which opens on Friday night, director Cory Sigler said, “It's about an opera company that has a famous opera singer coming to perform ‘Otello' and everyone is very excited, especially the producer, who thinks Tito Merelli will bring in a lot of money for the opera company. And the women are excited because they all want to meet him.”
When he and his wife arrive, he's sick to his stomach and they have an argument. He takes some sleeping pills and goes to sleep. Showtime is quickly approaching and he is still out, so the company's general manager, Saunders, convinces his assistant Max to impersonate the singer. Tito wakes up just as the show is beginning and that's when things begin to go awry and mistaken identities take center stage — even with the love story subplot.
“This is a very, very fun show,” Sigler said. “It's one of the funniest shows I've ever done.”
He said the show is “classic slapstick comedy” mixed with “classic mistaken identity.”
The stage is set up like two rooms so the audience can see what's going on in each, although the characters are clueless about the activity in the other room.
“That makes it harder to direct because there are some things that you would normally do that you can't because there is a ‘wall' separating the two rooms,” Sigler said.
He praised set builder George Hart for his efforts with “Lend Me A Tenor.”
“This is a very complicated set. We have the two rooms and a bedroom and we have the doorway built up off the stage, which is something I don't think we've ever had before,” Sigler said. “I gave him my set design and he did it and was done a week earlier than we expected.”
Sigler is no stranger to directing the show. Ten years ago he directed “Tenor” for McKeesport Little Theater.
“I'm very honored that McKeesport Little Theater gave me a chance to direct this show again,” he said, noting only one performer is returning from that cast of a decade ago.
Although the performers are new, he said there is a special bond that was evident early on in rehearsals.
“We have a phenomenal cast. Everything clicked really early. We were two weeks ahead of schedule and that's because we have such an exceptional cast. They picked up their lines and blocking very quickly. I actually gave them some time off because I didn't want them to over-rehearse,” the director explained.
With the set and rehearsals coming together so well, Sigler said, “This show was meant to be done in this time slot with these actors. It's been amazing.”
Although he's wearing the director's hat for this production, Sigler started out as an actor but was sidelined when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. However, it didn't keep him from the theater. He turned to behind-the-scenes work.
His symptoms left him confined to a wheelchair, but new medication has enabled him to walk with the assistance of a cane.
“When I was in the chair, I couldn't interact with the actors,” Sigler said. “But now I can get up on stage and work with them on scenes.”
Sigler recently starred in MLT's production of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” in which he played Man in the Chair, and he's appeared in some commercials. He said he feels at home at the McKeesport theater — he has been doing shows there since he was 15, which is nearly half his life.
There are several shows he would like to direct including “Boeing-Boeing,” “Evita,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” (his favorite show, which he has directed in the past), and “Civil War.”
Reflecting on the MLT production, Sigler said, “This is a very funny show and will take people out of whatever they are going through for a couple of hours. It will also make you realize that you don't know what you have until you think it's not there anymore. This is just a great show.”
Carol Waterloo Frazier is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1916, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former Century III Mall general manager waives charges
- 2 firefighters injured battling Munhall blaze
- Twin Rivers Intermediate students get hands-on science lessons
- Steel Valley school directors honor new San Francisco 49ers head coach Tomsula
- St. Agnes students assist food bank during Catholic Schools Week
- West Mifflin thrift store sells winning lottery ticket
- 3 arrested in recent McKeesport business burglaries
- Overall Mon-Yough homicide stats remain steady
- Clairton City School District directors cap possible 2015-16 tax hike at 3 percent
- Lebanon Road businesses feel pinch from another road project
- Nonprofit helps police keep wanderers safe in Mon-Yough area