Milwaukee Chamber Theatre
Press Release

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents Ken Ludwig’s LEND ME A TENOR

April 10-27, 2014

By - Mar 21st, 2014 12:58 pm

Milwaukee, WI … Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (MCT) presents Ken Ludwig’s classic farce LEND ME A TENOR, April 10-27, 2014.  This production is a collaboration with the Marquette University Theatre Department with several students, alumni and faculty filling roles both onstage and on the creative team.  Ken Ludwig’s LEND ME A TENOR performs in the Broadway Theatre Center’s Cabot Theatre in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

Set in 1934, LEND ME A TENOR is an extremely funny behind-the-scenes look at one day in the life of the “Cleveland Grand Opera Company.” When world famous Italian tenor Tito Merelli is hired to play Otello, little do these unsuspecting Ohioans realize how many things can go wrong in one brief, but action-packed evening!

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre Producing Artistic Director C. Michael Wright directs a cast of eight including new and past MCT artists.  Returning to the MCT stage are Alexandra Bonesho (THE LION IN WINTER), Drew Brhel (MAURITIUS, CRIME & PUNISHMENT), Steve Koehler (RABBIT HOLE, THREE DAYS OF RAIN) and Rick Pendzich (JEEVES INTERVENES, THE FOURTH WALL). Making their MCT mainstage debuts are Linda C. Loving and Rána Roman and Marquette University students Hannah Klapperich-Mueller and Peter Sisto.

In 2009, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre began a three-year “University Collaboration Series” as part of our mission to nurture young artists. Marquette University was part of the series in the Spring of 2011 with THE LION IN WINTER. Today, the series has continued to evolve into a wide variety of partnerships with local university theatre departments. The current collaboration with Marquette University on Ken Ludwig’s LEND ME A TENOR is a perfect example of MCT’s commitment to working with and mentoring the next generation of theatre artists with several MU students, alumni and faculty appearing on stage and serving on the creative team. In addition, several Marquette students who were involved with THE LION IN WINTER are now returning to MCT serving more prominent roles in LEND ME A TENOR.

Marquette University personnel working on LEND ME A TENOR include current students, Dylan Elhai (Stage Management Intern), Hannah Klapperich-Mueller (Actor), Peter Sisto (Actor) and Nic Trapani (Lighting Designer); alumni Alexandra Bonesho (Actor), Rachel Finn (Scenic Designer) and Kimberly O’Callaghan (Draper); and faculty member Debra Krajec (Costume Designer).

Ken Ludwig’s LEND ME A TENOR was produced in London’s West End in 1986 and then on Broadway in 1989.  The New York Times called it “one of the two great farces by a living writer,” and the original Broadway production won three Tony Awards and was nominated for nine. The 2010 Broadway revival featured Anthony LaPaglia and Tony Shalhoub.  LEND ME A TENOR has been translated into 16 languages and produced in 25 countries.

Ken Ludwig’s plays have been performed in more than 30 countries in over 20 languages. He has had six shows on Broadway and six in the West End. He has won two Laurence Olivier Awards, two Helen Hayes Awards, the Edgar Award, the SETC Distinguished Career Award and the Edwin Forrest Award for Services to the Theatre. His other best-known Broadway and West End shows include CRAZY FOR YOU, MOON OVER BUFFALO, LEADING LADIES, TWENTIETH CENTURY, THE ADVENTURES OF TIME SAWYER, THE GAME’S AFOOT, THE FOX ON THE FAIRWAY, MIDSUMMER/JERSEY, THE THREE MUSKETEERS, TREASURE ISLAND and THE BEAUX’ STRATAGEM. His plays have starred Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, Lynn Redgrave, Mickey Rooney, Hal Holbrook, Dixie Carter, Tony Shalhoub, Anne Heche, Joan Collins, and Kristin Bell. He is a McCarter Theatre/Sallie B. Goodman Fellow, and he has degrees from Harvard, where he studied music with Leonard Bernstein, Haverford College and Cambridge University.

Diana:  Alexandra Bonesho
Saunders:  Drew Brhel
Maggie:  Hannah Klapperich-Mueller
Tito Merelli:  Steven M. Koehler
Julia:  Linda C. Loving
Max:  Rick Pendzich
Maria:  Rána Roman
Bellhop:  Peter Sisto

Director:  C. Michael Wright
Scenic Designer:  Rachel Finn
Costume Designer:  Debra Krajec
Lighting Designer:  Nic Trapani
Properties Master:  Nikki Kulas
Sound Designer:  Chris Guse
Music Director:  David Bonofiglio

Thursday, April 10 – 7:30 pm (P)
Friday, April 11 – 8:00 pm (O)
Saturday, April 12 – 8:00 pm
Sunday, April 13 – 2:00 pm
Wednesday, April 16 – 1:00 pm (*)
Wednesday, April 16 – 7:30 pm (V)
Thursday, April 17 – 7:30 pm
Friday, April 18 – 8:00 pm
Saturday, April 19 – 4:00 pm
Saturday, April 19 – 8:00 pm
Sunday, April 20 – 2:00 pm
Wednesday, April 23 – 1:00 pm
Thursday, April 24 – 7:30 pm
Friday, April 25 – 8:00 pm
Saturday, April 26 – 4:00 pm
Saturday, April 26 – 8:00 pm
Sunday, April 27 – 2:00 pm


–Pre-performance Talk Theatre: MCT Producing Artistic Director C. Michael Wright will lead a lively and informative chat with Costume Designer Deb Krajec and Lighting Designer Nic Trapani (two of our Marquette collaborators), beginning at 12:00 noon before the matinee on Wednesday, April 16 in the Skylight Bar & Bistro.

–Pre-performance ViewPoints: a free, pre-show presentation by theatre professor Dr. Erik Ankerberg, on Wednesday, April 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Skylight Bar & Bistro.

–Post-performance Talkbacks:  Post-show discussion with the cast and following performances on Thursday, April 17 and Thursday, April 24.

Ken Ludwig’s LEND ME A TENOR performances are April 10-27, 2014. (Opening Night: Friday, April 11) in the Broadway Theatre Center’s Cabot Theatre, 158 N. Broadway in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.  Tickets are available Monday through Saturday from noon-6:00 p.m. at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office, 158 N. Broadway, or by phone at (414) 291-7800. Tickets can be purchased online – 24 hours a day at Group, student and senior discounts are also available. For more information, visit Ken Ludwig’s LEND ME A TENOR is co-sponsored Donald A. Cress and George & Julie Mosher.


Alexandra Bonesho returns to Milwaukee Chamber Theatre after making her debut while still a theatre student at  Marquette in THE LION IN WINTER (Alais). Regional credits include GROUCHO: A LIFE IN REVUE (Groucho’s Many Ladies) and MICROCRISIS (Lydia) at Next Act Theatre; GREY GARDENS (Young Little Edie) and KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN (Marta) at Off the Wall Theatre; CARTOON (Yumi) at Youngblood Theatre. She has also performed with Danceworks, Sunset Playhouse, Plays for the Living, First Stage Children’s Theater and Combat Theatre. She is a Marquette University graduate.

DREW BRHEL – Saunders
Drew Brhel more or less began his professional career in 1986, playing a small role in Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s production of MAN AND SUPERMAN. Since then, favorites with MCT include Joyce Burge in BACK TO METHUSELAH, Richard Greatham in HAY FEVER, Porfiry in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT and his latest MCT appearance Sterling in MAURITIUS. Roles elsewhere include Bobchinsky in THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR and Fezziwig and Mr. Topper in A CHRISTMAS CAROL for Milwaukee Repertory Theater; Jaques in AS YOU LIKE IT for Milwaukee Shakespeare; Mann in THE CLOCKMAKER, Herr Biedermann in THE FIREBUGS and Mr. Merkin in BELOW THE BELT for Next Act Theatre; and Herr Schultz in CABARET for Skylight Music Theatre.

A Milwaukee native, Hannah Klapperich-Mueller is making her Milwaukee Chamber Theatre debut. A junior at Marquette University, she is studying theatre arts and writing-intensive English. She has been seen on Marquette’s Helfaer Theatre stage in ALMOST, MAINE, A DOLLHOUSE, LILLY’S PURPLE PLASTIC PURSE, IF YOU TAKE A MOUSE TO SCHOOL, DEFYING GRAVITY and the collaboration with First Stage’s Young Company production of GATHERING BLUE.

STEVEN M. KOEHLER – Tito Merelli
Steve Koehler’s MCT credits include RABBIT HOLE (Howie), THREE DAYS OF RAIN (Pip/Theo) and THE VOICE OF THE TURTLE (Bill).  Other credits include THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Georg Von Trapp), THE SPITFIRE GRILL (Caleb) and JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS with Skylight Music Theatre;  VICTORY FARM (Wolfgang) and GUYS ON ICE (Lloyd) with American Folklore Theatre; VERONICA’S POSITION (Harvey) with In Tandem Theatre; and HAUPTMAN (Lindberg) with Next Act Theatre.  He also teaches physics and acting at Milwaukee High School of the Arts.

After majoring in theatre at the University of Michigan, Linda Loving performed a variety of roles with Midwest companies such as Michigan Summer Rep, Milwaukee Repertory Theater and Sunset Playhouse. She was then ordained as a Presbyterian minister serving churches around the country. In addition, she travels internationally with a one woman show JULIAN. She recently appeared in TRAILER PARK PROPHECIES at Splinter Group. This is her MCT debut.

Rick Pendzich returns to MCT after perforating as  Eustace in JEEVES INTERVENES, Floyd in THE FOURTH WALL, Stanley in BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS and Sandy Tyrell in HAY FEVER.  He also performed with MCT at the Kohler Arts Center in 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD and THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED).  A graduate of UW-Whitewater’s BFA program, he has had the chance to work with multiple Milwaukee companies.  Roles include Steve in GRACE at Next Act Theatre, Gaston in ANATOLE at First Stage Children’s Theater and Mark Cohen in RENT at Skylight Music Theatre.

Rána Roman is a Milwaukee native and graduate of Milwaukee High School of the Arts and Santa Monica College. She returns to MCT after appearing in the staged reading of THE TAVERN KEEPER’S DAUGHTER. Local performances include IN THE HEIGHTS and RENT at Skylight, ENFRASCADA at Renaissance Theaterworks, FORTUNA THE TIME BENDER VS. THE SCHOOLGIRLS OF DOOM at Milwaukee Opera Theatre, and SEUSSICAL and U BUG ME at First Stage. While living in NYC, she appeared on One Life to Live, was a lead singer for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and was part of the national Broadway tour of RENT as the Mimi/Maureen understudy. She also sings lead vocals for Nightlife, Mr. Lucky Syndicate and Platinum.

Peter Sisto makes his Milwaukee Chamber Theatre debut with LEND ME A TENOR.  Currently a junior at Marquette University, he is majoring in both secondary education and mathematics with a minor in theater.  He has been a part of numerous shows at Marquette including URINETOWN (Bobby Strong), DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS (Freddy Benson) and ALMOST, MAINE.

C. MICHAEL WRIGHT – Director, MCT Producing Artistic Director
Since joining the staff here in 2005, C. Michael Wright has directed and/or produced three university collaboration projects: PICNIC with UW-Milwaukee, THE LION IN WINTER with Marquette University and BUS STOP with UW-Parkside. A long list of productions he has directed at MCT includes UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL, HEROES, DRIVING MISS DAISY and BROOKLYN BOY, as well as three original works: OCTOBER, BEFORE I WAS BORN, THE DALY NEWS and DICKENS IN AMERICA (which he also directed at American Players Theatre). Before MCT, he served as associate artistic director of Next Act Theatre for eight years. Since moving to Wisconsin in 1988, he has directed well over 75 productions. Some favorites have been FALLEN ANGELS for Next Act, THE SYRINGA TREE for American Players Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks and Delaware Theatre Company, LOBBY HERO for Madison Repertory Theatre and A NIGHT IN NOVEMBER for Next Act, Madison Rep and Riverside Theatre. He has been acting professionally for 37 years and has appeared on Broadway, in Israel and in regional theatres all across the country. His most recent performances have been as Serge in ‘ART’, Philip in MAURITIUS and Dr. Alfred Feldmann in DUET FOR ONE, all here at MCT, and as Sancho Panza in MAN OF LA MANCHA at Skylight Music Theatre. In 2009, he was honored with an “Artist of the Year” award by the City of Milwaukee Arts Board.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

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