MILLBURN – Broadway veterans Judith Blazer and John Treacy Egan lead the cast of Paper Mill Playhouse’s winter comedy production, Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor.
Blazer, who plays Maria, and Egan, who plays Tito, will be joined by Donna English (Diana), Nancy Johnston (Julia), David Josefsberg (Max), Michael Kostroff (Saunders), Jill Paice (Maggie) and Mark Price (Bellhop). Lend Me a Tenor will be directed by Don Stephenson. The show will run at the Millburn theater from Feb. 13 through March 10.
Nominated for nine Tony Awards, winner of three Drama Desk Awards and the Olivier Award for Best Comedy of the Year, Lend Me a Tenor is a wildly entertaining farce. The renowned tenor “Il Stupendo” is scheduled to sing the lead in the opera Otello. Chaos ensues when his wife mistakenly leaves him a “Dear John” letter and the distraught singer is accidentally given a double dose of tranquilizers. What follows is a laugh-out-loud chain reaction of mistaken identity, farcical plot twists, double entendres, and musical mayhem. The New York Times calls Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor “one of the two great farces by a living writer.”
Blazer was seen on Broadway in Lovemusik, 45 Seconds from Broadway, Titanic, Me and My Girl and A Change in the Heir. Off Broadway credits include: Whida Peru: Resurrection Tangle; NYC Opera’s Sweeney Todd and Candide; The Torch-Bearers; Hurrah at Last; Bernarda Alba and Hello Again. You may have seen Blazer on television in Law and Order, As the World Turns, Guiding Light, Bernstein’s New York, and In Performance at the White House. Blazer has appeared in numerous Paper Mill Playhouse productions, including her celebrated performance as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.
Egan will portray Tito Merelli. He appeared on Broadway in Sister Act (Joey), The Little Mermaid (Chef Louis), The Producers (Max Bialystock, Roger DeBris, Franz Liebkind), Jekyll & Hyde, and Bye Bye Birdie. On television Mr. Egan appeared in Boardwalk Empire, Nurse Jackie, 30 Rock, Cupid and Law & Order.
Donna English of Montclair returns to Paper Mill Playhouse as Diana following her critically acclaimed performance as Elsa Schraeder in The Sound of Music. English also appeared at Paper Mill Playhouse in Hairspray (Velma), Harold and Maude (Mrs. Chasen), and Meet Me in St. Louis (Anna Smith), among others. English’s New York credits include Nice Work If You Can Get It; Madame X (2011 NYMF Outstanding Performance Award), Ruthless! (Drama Desk nomination); and Broadway, directed by George Abbott.
Nancy Johnston will play Julia. Most recently, Johnston appeared on Broadway in Elf. Other Broadway credits include The Secret Garden and the 2000 revival of The Music Man. Off Broadway credits include Jessica Gatewood in the world premiere of Splendora, Merrily We Roll Along, White Lies, Olympus on My Mind, and Encores’ Allegro.
David Josefsberg of South Orange will play the role of Max. On Broadway, Josefsberg appeared in Les Misérables, Grease and The Wedding Singer. Off Broadway Josefsberg appeared in Altar Boyz, Slut, and Rated P. Josefsberg is half of the comedy-music duo Joberg and Gurner, recently signed to Comedy Central Records.
Michael Kostroff returns to Paper Mill Playhouse to play Saunders after his critically acclaimed performance as Thénardier in the 25th Anniversary production of Les Misérables. Kostroff is best known for his five seasons on HBO’s The Wire, two seasons on Disney’s Sonny with a Chance, and for his dozens of television guest appearances.
Jill Paice, who appeared as Betty Haynes in Paper Mill Playhouse’s production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas in 2011, returns to play Maggie. Paice appeared on Broadway in: The 39 Steps, A Little Night Music (Anne), Curtains (Niki Harris), The Woman in White (Laura Fairlie) and on the West End in Gone with the Wind (Scarlett O’Hara). Paice appeared Off Broadway in Death Takes a Holiday (Grazia), Tokio Confidential (Isabella) and Where’s Charley? (Kitty, Encores!).
Mark Price joins the Lend Me a Tenor cast as the Bellhop. He has appeared in many Broadway shows, including Mary Poppins (Robertson Ay), Wonderful Town, All Shook Up (Dennis), Rocky Horror Show (Riff Raff), Mamma Mia! (Pepper), Dance of the Vampires (Boris), You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Paul Simon’s The Capeman, Chicago, and Beauty and the Beast (Lefou).
Don Stephenson will direct Lend Me a Tenor. Stephenson appeared as John Adams in Paper Mill Playhouse’s production of 1776. Stephenson directed Of Mice and Manhattan for the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center, Titanic at The Muny and Noises Off and The 39 Steps at the Flat Rock Playhouse, Titanic at the Hangar Theatre, and The Great Unknown for the New York Musical Theatre Festival. He directed critically acclaimed productions of Oleanna, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and the hit musical Doctors and Diseases at the Barter Theatre, which moved Off Broadway to the Players Theater.
Lend Me a Tenor will be performed eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance Schedule: Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Single tickets are on sale now and range from $26 to $97. Tickets may be purchased by calling 1-973-376-4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org.
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