A Comedy of Tenors at Florida Studio Theatre

Arts & Culture

Pictured: Cast members (l-r) Jennifer Cody (Maria), Aaron Munoz (Tito/Beppo) and Lucy Lavely (Racon). Photo courtesy of FST.

“Everybody says that Ken Ludwig is the best comic playwright of our era and I would absolutely have to second that,” says Richard Hopkins, Producing Artistic Director and CEO of Florida Studio Theatre. “I don’t know of anyone who is writing comedy today that’s better than he is.”

That might sound like high praise, but for Tony Award winning playwright Ken Ludwig, it’s well warranted. Ludwig’s work, which includes over 20 plays that have been performed in more than 30 countries in a multitude of languages, has come to Sarasota in the form of A Comedy of Tenors. The play, which premiered Wednesday, August 2 at Florida Studio Theatre, is set in 1930s Paris and follows the shenanigans of celebrity opera singers, their families and a producer who’s just trying to get the show off without a hitch.

“Some would call the play a farce, but Ludwig calls it more of a muscular comedy, which I think is so much more accurate the more that I’ve seen the show in rehearsal,” says Hopkins. “While the play absolutely includes farcical elements, it’s also heartfelt and touching. It’s built upon seeing these bright, wonderful characters that are all at the top of their profession go through the same problems that we do, whether it’s marital or intrafamilial–it’s a real uppercrust comedy filled with foibles, wonderful song and opera in the background.”

A Comedy of Tenors is the final play of Florida Studio Theatre’s Summer Mainstage Season, which will be followed in August by the organizations 2023 Summer New Play Festival. “I spend so much time reading and selecting plays that it really comes down to putting together three shows that are hopefully more than the sum of their parts,” says Hopkins. “So far we’ve had just a great summer with a huge hit in Shear Madness, another fantastic contrasting hit in Black Pearl Sings! which was both humorous and dark and meaningful and then this wonderful, adroit, muscular comedy to finish the season. It just puts a capstone on the summer season.”

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota.

Pictured: Cast members (l-r) Jennifer Cody (Maria), Aaron Munoz (Tito/Beppo) and Lucy Lavely (Racon). Photo courtesy of FST.

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