Live theater returns to Palaia Vineyard's outdoor stage

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:46

The Vineyard Comedy Players present 'Lend Me A Tenor’ July 14, 15, 16 and 17 Highland Mills - Once again this summer, theater will be alive and well as the Vineyard Comedy Players offer their latest presentation, “Lend Me A Tenor,” under the early evening stars at the Palaia Vineyard’s outdoor stage on Route 32 in Highland Mills. There will be four twilight performances of playwright Ken Ludwig’s comedy from Thursday, July 14,through Sunday, July 17. To set the scene: It is Sept. 8, 1934, and the producer of Cleveland’s premiere opera company is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Tickets are sold, the stage is set and the 30-piece orchestra is ready. But, it’s about to become un disastro gigantesco because it’s three minutes to curtain, and the leading man - the greatest tenor in the world - has gone missing. This is The Vineyard Comedy Player’s third production outside on the main event stage at the winery. They have previously performed “California Suite” by Neil Simon, and last year’s smash hit, “Rumors.” The Vineyard Comedy Players is made up of seasoned actors from all over the Hudson Valley area. Behind the scenes The show is directed by Rich Aufiero, a longtime friend of the Palaggi family (owners of the winery), who has been convinced to get back up on the stage again, as well as direct. Sets are once again being designed and built by Tony Ravinsky, who donates his time and energy every year with his time off in the summer from being the choral director at Cornwall High School. He has designed and built many of the sets at the local community theaters in the area, as well as for high school drama productions where he has won several awards. The sets are being built by Cornwall High School students who donate their time to help Ravinsky build and paint. The Stage Manager is Meaghan Doulin, who has helped Aufiero in many of his plays over the past few years. Joining Doulin behind the scenes are assistant directors Corinne Aufiero and Blake McGready, who also have been involved in previous productions. “All have been invaluable to the process from the beginning,” said play producer and winery owner Jan Palaggi.“Without the backstage people, the show would not go on. “ Costumes are being designed by recent college graduate and theater major Angela Palaggi, who has grown up performing in and designing for many local shows. Sound is provided by Tim McGuire, without whom it would not be possible to do an outside performance. As producer, Palaggi buys the rights to the show, gets the scripts, sets up the auditions, provides the rehearsal space (and the wine), and helps with all the aspects of the show, from costumes to paint colors, to tickets and programs. “I get to laugh at all the rehearsals and enjoy the company of so many talented people. And then of course, there are the shows,” Palaggi said. “We love to laugh at the vineyard - it is a wonderful job.”

If you go
The Vineyard Comedy Players’ “Lend Me A Tenor” is scheduled for four performances at the Palaia Vineyards outdoor stage under the tent on Route 32 in Highland Mills on:
Thursday, July 14
Friday, July 15
Saturday, July 16
Sunday, July 17
The shows begin at 8 p.m. each evening, although earlier arrival at the vineyard is encouraged. Chairs are provided.
Tickets are $10 for adults, children and seniors, and are available for pre-purchase in person at the winery or at the door on the day of the show.
Note: No reservations will be taken by phone.