On a sultry summer night, we approached the doorway to the Granite Theatre, just as it was being lit by the brilliant rays of the ebbing summer sun. There once was a steeple in this 1860s church, but it was lost in the 1938 hurricane. Today it’s the home of the Granite Theatre Company and we were there to watch their latest performance, “Lend Me a Tenor.”
As soon as we glanced upon the set, we knew the time frame. The phone, the radio, both 1934. It was the story of Tito, the Great Italian Opera Star, arriving late for his rehearsal for the Cleveland Grand Opera Company’s opening night. He’s the bankable yet booze and woman loving tenor, and things quickly unravel after his wife chastises himand storms off. It’s a ribald tale, with lots of site gags. When Tito doesn’t wake up, and the show is in danger, Max hatches a plan to save the Grand Opera.
Lee Rush somehow directs the calamity that ensues when two Othellos go crazy between the two rooms, and it’s all full of site gags and double entrentre, it’s campy and it’s a delight. Seeing live theater in this part of Rhode Island was fun, here they support the craft and some buy season seats to every performance.
After the final scene of the show the did something I’ve never seen on a stage. They did a fast-forward recap of the entire show. It was funny and a great way to say good bye from the actors. Granite Theatre has live theater all year except for February and March. www.granitetheatre.com