ABOUT THE PLAY
This first appeared in the July 1994 Boal Barn program. Lend Me A Tenor is a quintessential farce. That means everything in the plot gets out of the character’s control, although not the playwright’s. It means that timing is of the essence. It means that the characters will be pulled almost by fate into what might be a catastrophe, but since this is a farce, isn’t.
Although the initial situation in any farce is credible enough, believability soon turns into improbability, even, some would say, fantasy. Could anyone other than Tito Merelli sing Otello? In Cleveland in 1934 – probably not. The Metropolitan Opera did not perform Verdi’s opera between 1913 and 1937. Few, in any, tenors would tackle this killer-role without years of study. But farce takes place in a never-never land where anything can happen and probably will.
In farce, the original situation soon gives way to complications, coincidences, arrivals of new characters, and departures of old ones. In a good farce – and Lend Me A Tenor is a very good one – the audience can never predict what will happen next; who will suddenly appear and disappear, and how everything will be resolved by the final curtain.
Welcome to the world of Lend Me A Tenor”