Next on the Garvin Theater boards from the City College Theater Group, March 1-18, is Ken Ludwig’s “A Comedy of Tenors,” directed by Katie Laris, with sets and lighting by Patricia L. Frank, costumes by Pamela Shaw, sound by Barbara Hirsch, and starring Justin Davanzo, Jean Louis Dedieu, Felicia Hall, Luke Hamilton, Isaac Lewis, Sean O’Shea, Tiffany Story and Grace Wilson.
Ludwig’s website provides the following summary: “One hotel suite, four tenors, two wives, three girlfriends, and a soccer stadium filled with screaming fans. What could possibly go wrong? It’s 1930s Paris and the stage is set for the concert of the century—as long as producer Henry Saunders can keep the amorous Italian superstar Tito Merelli and his hot-blooded wife Maria from causing runaway chaos. Filled with characters from Ken Ludwig’s famous ‘Lend Me A Tenor,’ this new addition to the Ludwig canon is an uproarious ride full of mistaken identities, blissful romance and madcap delight.”
The runaway success of the Tony-winning “Lend Me a Tenor” naturally encouraged Ludwig to explore its characters in further situations, and in “A Comedy of Tenors,” he has done so with the sure, light touch of a born entertainer.
Indeed, unlike the overwhelming majority of comedies, from Aristophanes and Juvenal to the present day, the legal term “absence of malice” describes virtually all of Ludwig’s oeuvre. He is a retailer of funny anecdotes, not a satirist.
This works well, for him and for us, for while satirists have labored over the centuries to expose folly and predation, fools and predators are as numerous as ever, leaving the world as it was, Ken Ludwig, only wants to make us laugh, and laughter, in whatever transitory fashion, makes the world a better place as far as it can be heard.
The only vice consistently exposed in his works is the universal one of vanity, which is seldom lethal, and he is obviously not trying to eliminate it: he’d be doing himself out of his livelihood.
In the fall of 2022, Ludwig added another opera-themed comedy to his playlist: “Lend Me a Soprano.”
“A Comedy of Tenors” previews at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 1; plays regularly at 7:30 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, in the Garvin Theatre (SBCC West Campus, 900 block of Cliff Drive). The Sunday, March 5, 2 p.m. performance will be live-captioned for the hearing impaired.
Tickets to the preview are $18 general/$15 seniors and SBCC staff/$10 students; Thursday evenings and Sunday matinees are $24 general/$19 seniors and SBCC staff/$14 students; Friday and Saturday evenings, $26 general/$21 seniors and SBCCC staff/$17 students.
Buy tickets by calling the Garvin Box Office, 805-965-5935, or visit www.theatregroupsbcc.com.