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Lend Me A Tenor Reviews

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Actor Stanley Tucci makes his Broadway debut as a director with “Lend Me A Tenor,” the first revival of a farce by Ken Ludwig that appeared on Broadway in 1989 to mixed reviews but popular success. The current production stars Tony Shalhoub from “Monk,” Anthony LaPaglia, Justin Bartha from “The Hangover,”

Here are excerpts from some reviews of the current production:

Jonathan Mandell, The Faster Times: I sometimes enjoyed “Lend Me A Tenor,” and not just because the people around me were guffawing and I wanted to fit in. I especially appreciated the curtain call, a manic replay of the entire show, all the door-slamming and couch-chasing and bed-humping compressed into 85 seconds of wordless slapstick. Indeed, I would count this as the highlight of “Lend Me A Tenor.”

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Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter: “Bottom Line: Stanley Tucci’s expert staging and a terrific cast makes this unremarkable screwball farce come to comic life.”

Charles Isherwood, The New York Times: “Much of the responsibility for the evening’s only fitful amusement lies with the material itself. “Lend Me a Tenor” was a big hit in its first Broadway run two decades ago, playing for more than a year and winning a Tony for the great Philip Bosco in the role of the impresario. But Frank Rich, writing in The New York Times, noted that Mr. Ludwig’s comedy “is all things farcical except hilarious.” This time around, the unhilarity is almost uninterrupted, and sometimes magnified by miscasting and flaccid pacing.”

Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post: “The nonverbal shenanigans score the biggest laughs. There’s memorable hissing from Maxwell, squealing from LaPaglia and screeching from Bartha, while Shalhoub delivers pregnant pauses big enough for octuplets. And of course the slapstick is virtually nonstop, with people tumbling, pratfalling, throwing themselves onto beds and couches, and spitting various items into the audience. Cheap stuff? Yes, and it’s wonderful.”

Elysa Gardner, USA Today: “Granted, some actors are more engaging than others. The most valuable players are Anthony LaPaglia, cast as Tito Merelli, an Italian opera star enlisted to appear at the gala, and Jan Maxwell, who plays his wife. Though these troupers have lent their gifts to a range of roles, LaPaglia is appreciated in particular for his rugged everyman quality, and Maxwell for her old-school elegance.”

Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press: “The frantic foolishness that fuels “Lend Me a Tenor” has not diminished in the two decades since the Ken Ludwig comedy’s initial New York appearance. If anything, the play’s desperation quotient – a prime ingredient of any farce worth its belly laughs – has only increased in the show’s first Broadway revival.”

David Sheward, Backstage: “Despite a serious case of miscasting, Stanley Tucci’s riotous staging of Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me a Tenor” provides an evening full of belly laughs, slapstick action, and projectiles aimed into the orchestra seats. If you want to laugh yourself silly and you’re willing to duck fruit, champagne corks, and flung roses, this is the show for you.”

Michael Sommers, NewJerseyNewsroom.com: “People born when “Lend Me a Tenor” premiered on Broadway just turned 21, so it’s time for a new generation to laugh themselves silly over Ken Ludwig’s frisky hotel room comedy.”

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