The longtime actor played the lead role of Max in “Lend Me a Tenor” more than 20 years ago. Now Marsh will take on the role of the guy Max impersonates in the weekend showing of the farce comedy at Corinth Theatre-Arts.
“My first real speaking role was Max at Northeast when I was young and just starting to act,” Marsh said. “This time around, I play Tito and that character has proved to be a lot of fun.”
Set in the 1930s, “Lend Me a Tenor” focuses on Tito Morelli, the greatest opera singer of his generation. Scheduled to appear for one night only as Otello, the star arrives late and, through a series of mishaps, is given a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out. As the show must go on, excitement ensues as the production crew races around trying to decide what to do next.
A sensation on Broadway and London’s West End, the screwball comedy is guaranteed to leave audiences teary-eyed with laughter according to director Bryan Essary.
“It’s a hilarious show,” he said. “It’s got everything ... mistaken identity, wrong place, wrong time and it’s even a little on the naughty side.”
Essary is returning to CT-A to director his eighth show. The former Arts in McNairy staffer said he’s most thankful for the show’s veteran cast.
“If something goes wrong, the audience will never know,” he said.
The cast includes veteran actor Cody Daniel as Max, who fools just about everyone into thinking he’s actually Tito.
“Max is a goofball and very unsure about himself, but as the show progresses and he dresses up like someone else, the character really grows into a more confident person,” said Daniel.
The theatre is trying a new approach to their normal sponsor night set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
“We’re doing a ‘pay what you can night,” said Essary. “Any donation to CT-A, from $1 to $1,000, let’s you see the play.”
Other showings include 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Tickets are $6 for students and $12 for adults.
“‘Lend Me a Tenor’ is a well-written, funny script, and we’ve got veteran actors and actresses who know how to sell it,” added the director. “Folks who don’t see this one will surely regret it.”
Henry Saunders, Randy Duke; Max, Cody Daniel; Maggie Saunders, Leah Petty; Tito Merelli, Dan Marsh; Maria Merelli, Jenny Jordan; Diana, Rebekah Hope Fontaine; Julia, Lesley Petty; Bellhop, David Frost II
Producers, Whitney Gooch and Della Miller; Director, Bryan C. Essary; Assistant director/stage manager, Claire Smith; Assistant to the director, Lavonia Essary; Costumes, Whitney Gooch; Seamstresses, Kristi Smith and Lesley Petty; Set design, Bryan C. Essary; Set construction, Wayne Bennett and Randy Duke; Artistic painting, Della Miller; Set painting, Christe Bennett, Will Pearce, Ava Marsh and Cast; Lighting design, Patrick Hudson; Sound effects, Donnie McGee; Italian consultant, Sarah Lemons