Friday, August 22, 2014
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 getthelowdown@sbcglobal.net.

 

“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

 
 
Chapkis Dance brings award-winning moves to Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Ducks on the pond, sturgeon in the water

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

Jazz invasion Aug. 30 at performing arts center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
How I spent my summer vacation

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Housing specialist to speak before Senior Rountable

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Brown approves ‘dining with dogs’ law

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 6 Comments

 
Small fire takes place at Solano College

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Aunt of toddler killed pleads not guilty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
Cops greet students at school where plot thwarted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

San Francisco to tally bird-into-window death toll

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
GPS devices find huge water loss in western US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California plans aid to immigrant minors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
California to appeal ruling tossing death penalty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Stunt blocks traffic on Golden Gate Bridge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Bodies of 2 men found in adjacent California yards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Assembly approves greater disclosure for campaigns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
American Ebola doc: ‘I am thrilled to be alive’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

No bail for woman in Amish girls’ kidnapping in NY

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Lawyer: Utah restaurant had other chemical burn

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Ice bucket challenge goes awry, firefighters hurt

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Marathon bombing suspect’s friend pleads guilty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

US judge strikes down Florida gay marriage ban

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Gov. Nixon taking National Guard out of Ferguson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Foley case lays bare debate over paying ransom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Pentagon: Islamic State militants will regroup

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Syria opposition: Deadly chemical attack forgotten

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Russian aid convoy advances toward Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Israel kills 3 Hamas military commanders in Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Turkey’s Davutoglu named new premier

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Thai army ruler named prime minister

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Indonesian court rejects election loser’s appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Liberia gives food in slum sealed to stop Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Record drought saps California honey production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment | Gallery

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Aug. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Are America’s police over-militarized and under-accountable?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

 
Young men helped me, and I thank them

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

Get it straight in Ferguson

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 14 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Aug. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Aug. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

My whole house shakes when my new neighbors drop their barbells

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Aug. 22-28, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
The voice-overs can’t save ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B2

Review: A sweet Moretz rescues ‘If I Stay’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Emmy hopefuls play the angles to nab trophies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Seth Meyers prizes his new role as Emmycast host

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Aug. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Julianne Hough dances back to ‘Dancing’ as judge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Jon Hamm hopes Ferguson will come out stronger

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Fade to black: Leonard Maltin ending movie guides

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

‘Doctor Who’ returns with a new season on BBC America

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

 
Local boxers make weight and are ready to fight

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Serena Williams to face Townsend in Open 1st round

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Loose sod at new Levi’s Stadium removed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Raiders’ Woodson returning to Lambeau, faces Pack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Phelps back in international comp, advances in 100

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Tigers’ Price throws 1-hitter, loses to Rays 1-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Philly loses to Chicago in LLWS

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Ryu sets course record at Canadian Women’s Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
McIlroy stumbles to 74, worst start in 2 months

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Cal interim AD Williams jumps into new role

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Teams test out a new helmet, but does it work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

Goalkeeper Tim Howard taking break from US team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Signups for Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

.

Business

Big 2015 Chevy Tahoe remains a rare breed of SUV

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Airline group forecasts uptick in Labor Day travel

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Applications for US unemployment aid fall to 298K

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
United lures top fliers with promise of a hot meal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

Family Dollar rejects Dollar General offer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
S&P 500 closes at a record; Hewlett-Packard gains

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Ford recalling more than 160,000 vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Bank of America settlement likely to benefit few

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

US housing recovery appears to be back on track

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

George ‘Wayne’ Hause

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Sharon Ilene Boyd

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Richard Ray Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Mary Louise Loveall

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9