FAIRFIELD — Fairfield Civic Theatre will kick off the new year, and its rebirth, with Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me a Tenor.”
Director Barbara McFadden has had the show on her “want-to-do” list for a few years. In June 2010, while producing “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” she told Bobby Ellison she wanted him in the show.
“She put a bug in my ear,” Ellison said. “I’d never heard of the show.”
Once he learned the plot, Ellison was hooked.
“I fell in love with it,” he said. A veteran of numerous musical theater productions, Ellison is happy to be tackling the role of the tenor in the comedy.
“I want to let people see it’s not just the singing, I can act as well,” Ellison said with a laugh.
Fairfield Civic Theatre’s niche was musical theater, McFadden said. Musicals are expensive, she said.
“Lend Me a Tenor” holds a special place in her heart. Her daughter, Kat McFadden, was in the show for her Actor Training Program final. That was seven years ago.
“It was the funniest thing I had seen in my life,” Barbara McFadden said.
The story centers on a renowned tenor, Tito Merelli, known to his fans as “Il Stupendo,” who is scheduled to sing the lead in “Otello” at a gala fundraiser for the Cleveland Opera Company. However, before he can even leave his hotel room, chaos sets in. What follows is described as a chain reaction of mistaken identity, farcical plot twists, double entendres and innuendoes.
The cast of eight includes Amy and Anthony Lucido, who have been married four years after meeting on the set of the Pinole Community Playhouse production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” She was the narrator, he was Joseph.
They drive from Martinez for the show. Like Ellison, Amy Lucido had been in a string of musicals and was ready for a change of pace. She worked alongside Barbara McFadden in “The Music Man,” playing a mother and daughter.
“I love her,” Amy Lucido said.
The couple said once they read the script, they really wanted to do the show. Anthony Lucido writes farces and one, “Peter and Estelle’s Kid,” has been shown twice in the Bay Area. It’s based on his high school journal.
Both work for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Their dream job would be to work in graphics all day, then rehearse for plays at night.
The day after the show closes, Ellison heads to an audition for the fourth season of “The Voice.” He auditioned two years ago. His voice will be well rested after having to sing only one song in “Lend Me a Tenor.”
Fairfield Civic Theatre is dedicating the season to Anita Elliott, who died in 2012. She and her husband, Greg Elliott, were involved with Fairfield Civic Theatre for many years. The season will end with a panto, a winter comedy production that’s a tradition in Great Britain. Anita Elliott grew up in England.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.