Press Room

PTC Presents “A Comedy of Tenors” by Ken Ludwig

Friday, October 6, 2017
For: IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Madeleine Gail Rex
801-581-7222
madeleine.rex@ptc.utah.edu

PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS

Ken Ludwig’s
A Comedy of Tenors

Salt Lake City – Pioneer Theatre Company will produce A Comedy of Tenors by Ken Ludwig, opening Oct. 20, 2017. The hilarious sequel to the Tony Award-winning 1989 comedy Lend Me a Tenor is directed by Wes Grantom and will run through Nov. 4, 2017.

The characters from Lend Me a Tenor are back – this time in Paris, on the eve of a star-studded concert where three famous tenors are scheduled to perform together. Of course, everything that can go wrong does, including clandestine love affairs, romantic misunderstandings and enormous operatic egos threatening to cancel the entire concert. Filled with the crackling one-liners and frantic farce that made Lend Me a Tenor a huge hit, A Comedy of Tenors evokes the classic screwball comedies of an earlier time.

PTC produced the Utah premiere of Lend Me a Tenor in 1993, and 25 years later it remains one of the theatre’s most popular shows.

According to The New York Times, “Doors slam, trios are sung, seductions are interrupted, faces are slapped and a very good time ensues.”

The equity cast includes JENNIFER CODY, JESSICA FONTANA, STORM LINEBERGER, GREGORY NORTH, ANDY PROSKY, HANSEL TAN and KIRSTEN WYATT. Local actor BEN BRINTON understudies.

Playwright KEN LUDWIG is a two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright of over 24 plays and musicals. His Tony Award-winning play Lend Me a Tenor was called “one of the classic comedies of the 20th century” by The Washington Post. His other plays and musicals include Crazy for You, Moon Over Buffalo, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, Twentieth Century, Leading Ladies, Shakespeare in Hollywood, The Three Musketeers, The Game’s Afoot, The Fox on the Fairway, The Beaux’ Stratagem and Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery.

GREGORY NORTH makes his PTC debut as Tito/Beppo, the world-renowned opera tenor worried his glory days are past. North has appeared in Broadway productions of Into the Woods, The Secret Garden, A Christmas Carol and Grand Hotel. His many other credits include premieres of Kiss of the Spider Woman and Sting’s The Last Ship, and touring productions of The Phantom of the Opera, Showboat and Les Misérables.

Tito’s fiery wife, Maria, is played by JENNIFER CODY, who has been on Broadway and off in the original companies of Shrek, The Pajama Game, Urinetown and Seussical, among others. She also appeared in companies of Cats, Beauty and the Beast, A Christmas Story: The Musical and Grease. Many will recognize her voice as that of Charlotte LaBouff in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog.

JESSICA FONTANA plays Mimi, Tito and Maria’s daughter, who is trying to make a life of her own. Fontana’s credits include Cinderella and Baby It’s You on Broadway, as well as 110 in the Shade, Once Upon a Mattress and the national tour of Little House on the Prairie. She has sung in concerts at venues like Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

STORM LINEBERGER plays Carlo, a rising opera star and Mimi’s secret beau. Previous to his PTC debut, he played Raoul in the national tour of the “spectacular new” production of The Phantom of the Opera and has appeared in the regional productions of The Little Mermaid, Singin’ in the Rain, Les Misérables, The Student Prince and The Music Man.

PTC veteran ANDY PROSKY plays Saunders, the uptight general manager in charge of making the concert run smoothly. He returns after appearing in 2014’s One Man, Two Guvnors as Charlie the Duck. His other credits include King Lear with Christopher Plummer, as well as The Price and Inherit the Wind, in which he performed with his Tony-nominated father Robert Prosky. In film and on television, Prosky has appeared in Men in Black, Mrs. Doubtfire and “The Path.”

HANSEL TAN plays Max, Saunders’s assistant and son-in-law. Tan’s previous credits include I Am Harvey Milk, Unlock’d, Made In China, The King and I, The Four Immigrants and Miss Saigon, among others. He has also appeared in “Madame Secretary” on CBS and “The Blacklist: Redemption” on NBC.

KIRSTEN WYATT plays Racon, an old flame of Tito’s, returning to PTC after playing Peter in Peter Pan and Eponine in 2007’s Les Misérables. On Broadway, she has appeared in Annie, A Christmas Story: The Musical, Elf, Shrek, Grease, High Fidelity, The Pajama Game, Urinetown and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

University of Utah alumnus BEN BRINTON completes the cast as the Tito/Beppo understudy.

Guest Director WES GRANTOM directs A Comedy of Tenors, his first mainstage production at PTC. Previously, he directed Play-by-Play readings of “i” and Speculator Spirits (later titled Lone Star Spirits). He is currently developing Civics and Humanities for Non-Majors by Jeff Talbott, and his other recent credits include Lone Star Spirits by Josh Tobiessen, The Cloud by Matt Moses and Mine by Bekah Brunstetter. He is the artistic director of Crowded Outlet, in Queens, NY, and is the recipient of multiple Drama League Fellowships.

Scenic design is by ERIC RENSCHLER. He brings experience from Broadway and off, having contributed to over 40 Broadway shows, national tours and international productions, including The Color Purple, Footloose, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Doubt and Chicago. Currently, he is the chair of the department of theatre at the University of Evansville. This his first PTC production.

SUSAN BRANCH TOWNE returns to PTC as costume designer, having designed for 19 PTC productions, including Other Desert Cities, The Tempest, Hamlet, My Fair Lady, Chicago, Romeo and Juliet, Sophisticated Ladies and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. She has also designed for the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre, New York City Opera and others.

Lighting design is by KENDALL SMITH, returning after lighting Dracula, Emma and A Christmas Story. His other credits include Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Geva Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival and other theatres across the country. He has been the resident lighting designer for Michigan Opera Theatre for 25 years, where he has designed over 70 productions.

Hair and makeup design is by PTC resident designer AMANDA FRENCH. Sound design is by PTC resident designer KATE WECKER.

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PUBLICITY PHOTO SHOOT: There will be an on-site publicity photo shoot on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, time to be announced. Please call 801-581-7222 to RSVP.

MEDIA PHOTOS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD: High-resolution color photos of this production will be available for media use on the PTC website beginning Wednesday, Oct.11, 2017 after 3:00 p.m. Go directly to http://www.pioneertheatre.org/press-room/media-photos/ to view the photos.

TV CAMERA FILMING: Filming a short segment of the production during preview or opening nights for press use can be arranged. Call 801-581-7222.

INTERVIEWS: Interviews with the cast and artistic staff are available. Call 801-581-7222.

WHO:
Pioneer Theatre Company

WHAT:
Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors

WHEN:
October 20 – November 4, 2017

TIMES:
Mondays – Thursdays, 7:00 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday matinees, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre
300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City

PRICES:
$25 – $44 in advance, and $5 more when purchased on the day of the show
Kids in grades K-12 are half-price on Mondays and Tuesdays

MORE INFO:
Box Office: 801-581-6961
Open 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mon – Fri
www.pioneertheatre.org

CAST:

Maria…………………………………………………JENNIFER CODY*
Mimi………………………………………………….JESSICA FONTANA*
Carlo………………………………………………….STORM LINEBERGER*
Tito/Beppo…………………………………………..GREGORY NORTH*
Saunders……………………………………………..ANDY PROSKY*
Max…………………………………………………..HANSEL TAN*
Racon…………………………………………………KIRSTEN WYATT*
u/s Tito/Beppo………………………………………BEN BRINTON

ARTISTIC TEAM:

Director………………………………………………WES GRANTOM
Scenic Designer………………………………………ERIC RENSCHLER
Costume Designer……………………………………SUSAN BRANCH TOWNE
Lighting Designer…………………………………….KENDALL SMITH
Sound Designer……………………………………….KATE WECKER
Hair and Makeup Designer……………………………AMANDA FRENCH
Production Stage Manager……………………………BECKY LYNN DAWSON*
Stage Manager………………………………………..MARY P. COSTELLO*
1st Assistant Stage Manager………………………….EMILY GRIFFITH
2nd Assistant Stage Manager…………………………MACARENA SUBIABRE

* Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association.