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Pete Widtfeldt
Chase Ramsey, Karen Baird and Brighton Quinn Hertford star in "Lend Me a Tenor."

OREM — "Lend Me a Tenor" is a silly show, full of surprises and laughs.

Kym Mellen, the director of the production opening at Hale Center Theater in Orem New Year's Eve, says the local show is going to be "even sillier than it should be" with a Bugs Bunny opera scene and pratfalls included.

It's also modified so it's family-friendly.

"The show's been done in each of the other Hale Centers so we already had permission to edit a few things," Mellen said. "If you want a night full of belly laughs with clean entertainment, this is it."

"Lend Me a Tenor" is based on the 1986 West End and 1989 Broadway hit comedy by Ken Ludwig, a story that, according to Mellen, is a "normal comedy times 10."

The plot revolves around a situation where the world's greatest tenor is unexpectedly unable to show up for his operatic performance.

The director's mild-mannered assistant has to find a replacement. From there chaos reigns with lots of exits and entrances and mistaken moments.

"I enjoy farces as a director," Mellen said. Mellen has a master's degree in musical dance and theater from Brigham Young University and has directed productions at the university and been involved in the Utah Shakespearean Festival.

This is her first opportunity to direct for Hale Center Theater in Orem, something she's enjoying.

"It's refreshing," she said. "I've been seeing shows there since the early 1990's. I think the quality of the shows are such high quality and I find the management there generous, family-oriented, hard-working.

Mellen said the cast includes great actors who can sing and who make the most of their moments on stage. Among those actors is equity actor Blake Barlow.

She's impressed as well with the set and the costumes.

"The costuming is just beautiful," she added, "with layers of a kind of art deco look."

"I think audiences will be excited," Mellen said.

If you go:

What: "Lend Me A Tenor," the musical

Where: Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North

When: Dec. 31-Feb. 16

Cost: various prices

Website: www.haletheater.org

Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with 38 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.

Email: [email protected]