Five seasons ago, the Players Theatre in Sarasota staged the classic comedy "Lend Me a Tenor." It proved to be one of the most popular and best-reviewed shows the Players had produced in recent years.
To kick off its 85th mainstage season, the Players Theatre are reprising that show.
It's not just the show that's back, but most of the cast from that original production, including all the central roles. Among the returning actors are Jeffery Kin, the artistic director of the Players Theatre, as Max and Bob Trisolini as Saunders.
"Lend Me a Tenor" was one of the biggest Broadway hits of the late-1980s, and it's become an enduring staple for local and regional theaters. During its original run, a New York critic hailed it as one of greatest contemporary farces, and it was nominated for all sorts of Tony Awards.
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Playwright Ken Ludwig went onto to write the book for "Crazy for You," which the Players Theatre produced last season, and "The Game's Afoot," which was a hit for Asolo Repertory Theatre in 2013.
The show's story takes place in a Cleveland hotel room in 1934. Saunders is the head of an opera company, and he's at the hotel to meet renowned Italian opera singer nicknamed "Il Stupendo." The plot develops into a classically structured fast-pace farce that involves mistaken identities, jealousy and surreptitious tranquilizers.
Details: Through Sept. 21, The Players Theatre, 838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Show times: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $25-$30. Information: 941-365-2494, theplayers.org.
-- Marty Clear