by Patricia Brown
Run, don’t walk to the closing weekend of Clovis North High School’s production of the comedy Lend Me a Tenor. It is Perfect. With a capital “P.” Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. February 16-18, 2012. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $8 for students. It’s appearing at the Clovis North’s Dan Pessano theater at Willow and International in Clovis. The ensemble cast of eight features students from eighth through twelfth grades.
Those are the facts. Did I say it was Perfect?
I know of which I speak. I saw Gielgud, Olivier and the longest running play, Mouse Trap, in the West End of London. I saw Mandy Patinkin make everyone cry in Winter’s Night off-Broadway. I saw the long-running Cats, Fantastiks, Phantom of the Opera, and Chorus Line on Broadway. I’ve seen theater in the round, theater in the park, national touring equity shows, and every bit (not hardly) of local theater in the Valley for the last sixteen years. I saw one awful production of Julius Caesar in Canterbury where killing Caesar behind a sheet covered with ketchup brought the house down laughing. So, I’m no Munro, but I know my theater.
What do you want from a show? Perfect writing, Check. Perfect casting. Check. Perfect pacing. Check. Perfect comedic timing. Check. A glorious set, costumes, sound and lighting—and direction. All check. And, all wrapped up like a bow in the most beautiful little gem of a state-of-the-art theater on this high school campus. Oh, and yes, belly laughs. Big check.
The play takes place in a Cleveland Hotel in 1934 on the eve of an opera featuring a world-class singer as the guest star. The plot twists in the wind like a flying cow in a hurricane.
At the center of this comedy of errors is “Max,” a want-a-be tenor who is assigned to handle the talent, played by the incomparable Daniel Fisher. I’ve never seen a high school student handle physical comedy so deftly. Along for the roller coaster ride are the other talented seven: Madisen Steele (Maggie), Kevin Palacios (Saunders), Jacob Watkins (Tito Merelli), Kalina Venogupal (Maria), Kyle Armentrout (Bellhop), Aleksandra Konstantinovic (Diana) and Julie Cowger (Julia).
I swear on my coveted, crinkled Playbill from Mary Poppins that I don’t have a child in this show and have received no kickbacks for my review.
Do yourself a favor and catch this gem of a production this weekend. I promise you Perfection.
Check out their KRL event page for more details.