this play, the head of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, Saunders, and his
assistant Max, are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their guest artist, the
great tenor Tito Morelli, who has a reputation as a drunk and womanizer. Max
shoulders the burden of caring for Tito until the night's performance of Verdi's
Otello. Unfortunately this includes accidentally giving him too many
sleeping pills and too much wine. Mistakenly interpreting Tito's unconsciousness
as suicide, Saunders forces Max to don Tito's duplicate Otello costume and
sing the part for him so they don't have to refund the ticket money. When Tito
wakes up, gets into his costume and runs to the theatre, chaos ensues, etc.
kind of play, with its typical farce elements such as mistaken identity, seduction, coordinated
entrances and exits, and slapstick technique, is a challenge for actors and
director, since timing must be precise while creating the illusion of chaos.
This was a revival of the 1992 production, which I had previously directed at
the Huron Playhouse. It was a great honor to be chosen to direct the show again
as part of the Playhouse's 50th anniversary season, which had a "greatest hits
of the Playhouse" theme.
Review from the 1998
Review from the 1992 production