Comedy closes out season at Tabor Opera House
The inaugural season at the Tabor Opera House, under direction of the nonprofit preservation foundation, has gone swimmingly all summer.
With ballet, opera and musical performances from some of Colorado’s favorite and most talked-about talent, the Tabor Opera House has set the bar for the future with the distinct goal of rebuilding the reputation of Leadville’s prized landmark and turning it into a cultural hub of year-round events.
The 2017 season ends with a hysterical production of Ken Luwig’s Lend Me a Tenor. Directed by the foundation’s artistic director, Scott Carroll. The play portrays an opera house put under the greatest strain possible.
The all-local cast stars Carroll plus J. Edward Nelson of Lake County Build a Generation; Brennan Ruegg of the Tabor Opera House and The Ark Magazine; preschool teacher Nichole Glaser; acupuncturist Molly Monahan-Howe; Leadville Mayor Greg Labbe; Lake County High School’s musical accompanist, Donna Schaefer; and Lake County Intermediate School’s Celesta Cairns as Maria. All the players have a history of performance and will be manically shouting on the opera house stage in the madcap comedy.
The play takes place at the Cleveland Grand Opera Company in the 1930s. Tito Merelli (Carroll), the greatest Italian tenor in the country, is coming to perform Otello – but he’s late. When he does show up, a fight with his feisty Italian wife (Cairns) leads him to take one too many sleeping pills, fooling the opera house general manager, Saunders (Ruegg), and his assistant Max (Nelson) into believing he has died in his suite. The two scheme to disguise an imposter as a replacement for Merelli. When the real tenor wakes up, it’s a case of mistaken identity that will keep the audience busting a gut through the second act. Written by playwright Ken Ludwig, Lend Me a Tenor won three Tony Awards when it debuted on the West End of Broadway.
“I am so thrilled to be bringing this wonderful production to Leadville,” says director Carroll. “I am passionate about producing high-quality theater for our community because they deserve nothing but the best. Come ‘Savor the Tabor’ and have a wonderful evening of laughter. I hope to see you there!”
Both the cast and the technical team have been working all summer to bring the production to life. Todd Howe, the Tabor’s house technician, is on lighting and sound design, along with Brett Finley of Ann Arbor, Mich., as stage manager; Lake County High School students Moriah Perkins, Ella Sunday and Annemarie Duel as her assistants; Carl Schaefer on scenic design; and City Councilwoman Gwen Shepherd on costumes. Production assistants include Cheyenne Mendoza and Mark Hanson.
Three performances will run this weekend. The Friday evening performance takes place at 7:30 p.m., preceding a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. and an evening performance at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Tabor Opera House box office, 308 Harrison Ave., Leadville; online at TaborOperaHouse.net or BrownPaperTickets.com; or by calling (719) 486-8409.
The Tabor will continue regular tours through September, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Come by to experience the historic opera house, including the second-floor museum and third-floor grand ballroom. The Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation conveys it appreciation to everyone who has supported the organization through the big change in operations. Savor the Tabor!