Saturday, March 28, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

FCT’s ‘Lend Me a Tenor’ was worth the wait

By
From page B4 | January 31, 2013 |

FAIRFIELD — Can someone please clone Fairfield Civic Theatre president Barbara McFadden?

Then, one, McFadden could work her costume-making wizardry full-time, another, she could blow audiences away acting and singing onstage, and, yet another, McFadden could direct flawless gems like Fairfield Civic Theatre’s production of “Lend Me a Tenor.”

For numerous reasons, Fairfield Civic Theatre hasn’t put on a production since “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” in 2010. The wait was well worth it. “Lend Me a Tenor” is one of those special shows that just keeps getting better as it goes along.

While I love the bigger stage at the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts, it was nice to be back in the intimate setting of the Missouri Street Theatre. The set, a luxurious 1934 hotel, was stunning and was accentuated nicely by the cabaret tables that offered patrons, for a few dollars more, the experience of almost being in the show. It also came with some delicacies.

“Lend Me a Tenor” is about a famous opera singer doing a show in Cleveland and the madcap adventures that happen when there is a mistaken identity.

The cast were rock stars individually and collectively worked together like a well-oiled machine.

I enjoyed bright-eyed Amy Lucido in Missouri Street Theatre’s “The Music Man” last year. Even though she did not unleash her heavenly voice in “Lend Me a Tenor,” she was fabulous as Maggie Saunders, the star-struck follower of the famous opera singer.

Lucido’s husband, Anthony V. Lucido, was an absolute scream as Max, the assistant to Henry Saunders. I don’t know that I have seen someone locally who was so in-the-moment onstage. His comic timing seemed effortless and natural. When coupled with his skill at pratfalls and other physical comedy, it almost warranted a warning for theatergoers to not risk taking a drink of anything when he was onstage for fear of spewing it out in a laughter shower.

I’d last seen Jim Jones in Solano College Theatre’s “Distracted” in a role he won an Arty for and as Henry Saunders, the nervous, scheming promoter, he was perfectly cast.

Bobby Ellison is one of those actors who has a magnetic stage presence, no matter if he is in a lead or supporting role. As Tito Marelli, the opera star, he was phenomenal. He was a perfect foil for many of the other characters and even shared some of his considerable vocal prowess in a duet with Anthony Lucido.

“Wow!” was all I could come up with when experiencing the whirlwind performance of Laura Domingo as Tito Marelli’s spitfire wife, Maria. She was immersed in her character, who was enraged for most of the show.

Faustino Cadiz III as Frank, a bellhop desperately trying to get near Tito, was full of verve and added some wonderful belly laughs to a show full of them.

Simone Olse-Varela as Diana, the up-and-coming star willing to do whatever it takes to further her career, was sassy, funny, sexy and hilarious.

I loved veteran actress Linda James as Ouiser Boudreaux in Solano Rep’s “Steel Magnolias” last year and as Julia, the grande damme/opera star cougar, she did not disappoint.

All of the elements of the production – costumes, set, lighting, sound design, etc. – came together in a seamless, hysterical and well-put-together show that resulted in a standing ovation.

And I’m not talking about one of those where you only get up because you don’t want to be the only one left sitting. I mean the kind where it is the absolute least you can do to show your appreciation for a cast and crew who put together a comic jewel.

“Lend Me a Tenor” is a triumph. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another three years for the next Fairfield Civic Theatre production.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at [email protected].

 

“Lend Me a Tenor”

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • Missouri Street Theatre, 1125 Missouri St., Fairfield
  • 422-1598
  • four stars out of four
Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • J BristowJanuary 29, 2013 - 2:28 pm

    Couldn't agree more. Fantastic production everyone should see!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodFebruary 01, 2013 - 2:18 pm

    My party, leaving the theater last night, couldn't decide if it was the best production we'd seen at the Missouri Street theater, or the best prodcution we'd seen in Fairfield, ever. Not a weak link in the cast, which is usually an understandable issue with small, local productions. I'm a guy, so maybe that's why I thought Simone stole her scenes, but actually, the cast was very well balanced, and Simone is a talent with a future. It brought back memories of the early days of the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, when Michael Liebert put on some highly entertaining productions at the old, and tiny, Elmwood Theater, a converted produce market. Crowd-pleasing farces were often produced to build up a loyal audience. And the rest is history. I miss those days, and it was fun to see them recaptured here and now. Thanks!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Sheepdogs, handlers flock to Rio Vista for trials

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Fraisure Smith hearing delayed twice Friday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 14 Comments | Gallery

Luncheon honors women for their work to help others

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Solano Rotary clubs honor top firefighters from across county

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Eatery to host event to support child with cancer

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

 
Project begins to brighten downtown Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 22 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: March 26, 2016

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Suisun police log: March 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Going home to mother

By Murray Bass | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

 
.

US / World

 
Jury says Silicon Valley firm did not discriminate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Public defender: San Francisco jail inmates forced to fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Gov. Brown signs $1 billion water plan for dry California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
NY mayor: Someone may have ‘inappropriately’ tapped gas line

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Feds: Baltimore jail illegally keeping juveniles in solitary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Autopsies determine children found in freezer were slain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Fetus debate looms following charges in womb-cutting case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
 
‘Sopranos’ star’s apartment destroyed by blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Pilot who scared passengers sues airline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

‘Mad Men’ costumes, props head to Smithsonian

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
US economy showing signs of durability

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

Mexico City businesses cite losses during Bond filming

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Nelson set to return to role as Coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
German airline could face ‘unlimited’ damages for Alps crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Co-pilot appeared healthy, but may have hidden illness

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
About 4,000 fishermen stranded on Indonesian islands

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Warships move in key strait as airstrikes widen in Yemen

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Iran says nuke talks focused despite Yemen crisis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

At least 9 dead as militants attack hotel in Somali capital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Amanda Knox murder conviction overturned by Italy high court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Living

Books as decor: Versatile but meaningful design elements

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR1Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Today in History: March 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: March 28, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

My elderly mother is so stingy I’m finding excuses not to visit her

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

 
The newest fitness trend: Mixing it up

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
‘Teen Mom’ star charged in picture posting case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

People: Zane Malik

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Larry David Broadway role handed to Jason Alexander

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

‘Stomp’ stopped by NYC blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Mannequin museum show hits New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Ranuado goes 6 for Rangers’ but A’s rally for 7-6 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Notre Dame beats Stanford women 81-60, advances to Elite Eight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Curry, Thompson lead Warriors in rout over Grizzlies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Evans helps desperate Pelicans end skid vs. Kings, 102-88

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Chicago rooftop owner charged with trying to defraud Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gift returns: Sterling wife wants house, $1 million

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Shaq acknowledges regret about decision to leave Magic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NASCAR topic: Cheating with tire pressure, or just hot air?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hot Rod Hundley, former NBA player and Jazz announcer, dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Area resident Jimmy Walker takes lead in Texas Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Logano wins Martinsville pole; Elliott to start 27th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
A-Rod’s cousin pleads guilty in Florida steroids case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Durant to have another surgery, miss rest of season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for March 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Home Seller 3/28/2015

Books as decor: Versatile but meaningful design elements

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR1Comments are off for this post | Gallery

Real estate transactions for March 28, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2