DISPATCH - JUNE 3, 2013 (9:12 a.m.)

SAG HARBOR, NY-

Laughter is well on its way at Bay Street Theatre. The comedy “Lend Me a Tenor” launched a season of laughter on Saturday with more to come with the Monday Night Comedy Club. The stand up comic series opens tonight at the theater on Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. The comedy series takes place during a time when the mainstage productions are taking the night off. Together, the theater is live every night of the week for most of the season. Following "Lend Me a Tenor" are two more comedies, ensuring the season will be a fun one.

“It’s going to be a summer full of laughs, that’s for sure,” noted Tracy Mitchell, executive director of Bay Street Theatre, in a recent release.

“Lend Me a Tenor,” directed by Don Stephenson, opened on June 1 and runs through June 23. Charles Ludlam’s “The Mystery of Irma Vep,” directed by Kenneth Elliott, runs from July 2 through 28. Stephen Sondheim's musical “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” is presented from Aug 6 to Sept 1. The musical's book is by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. It is directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge.

“We think these shows are some of the best comedies written for the stage,” says Gary Hygom, producer for Bay Street, “and the musical ‘Forum’ is not only one of the greatest musical comedies, it also features the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim with the signature song ‘Comedy Tonight!’”

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"Lend Me a Tenor" cast, show production team and Bay Street Theatre team. Photo by Barry Gordin.

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The Bay Street Comedy Club kicks off tonight (June 3) with the return of Ralphie May. Voted one of Variety’s "10 Comics to Watch" in 2008, May has filmed a record-setting three separate one-hour Comedy Central Specials in the past three years, all of which were among the network’s most highly-rated.

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Ralphie May. Courtesy of Bay Street Theatre.

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Jim Breuer returns to Bay Street’s Comedy Club on Monday, June 10. Breuer has been a stand-up comedian since his school days at Valley Stream Central High and went on to success in “Saturday Night Live,” feature films and to much acclaim on Comedy Central.

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Jim Breuer. Courtesy Bay Street Theatre.

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On Monday, June 17, the All-Star Comedy Showcase takes the stage. It is hosted by Joseph Vecsey and features rising stars from the stand-up scene with comedy by Kenny Garcia, Vic Henley, Chris Clarke and Mark Riccadonna.

Additional Monday Night Comics slated to appear include Dom Irrera, Paul Reiser, David Brenner, Amy Schumer, and Paula Poundstone. Keep your eye on the Bay Street Theatre website for details.

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Amy Schumer. Courtesy Bay Street Theatre.

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Adding extra laughter will be a separate evening by comic Colin Quinn. He's scheduled to appear on Saturday, June 29, with his Off-Broadway show "Colin Quinn Unconstitutional!" Quinn is a Saturday Night Live veteran and Bay Street Theatre regular. Tickets are $62 for members and $69 for non-members.

Opening the mainstage's summer of comedies is “Lend Me a Tenor.” Set in 1934, "Tenor" tells the story of the renowned opera singer "Il Stupendo,"who is accidentally given a double dose of tranquilizers while staying in a Cleveland, Ohio, hotel, causing a chain reaction of mistaken identity, double-entendres and musical mayhem.  “Lend Me a Tenor” was produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber on both London’s West End (1986) and Broadway (1989). It received nine Tony Award nominations and won for Best Actor and Best Director. As a Broadway revival, “Lend Me a Tenor” opened in 2010. The play has been translated into 16 languages and produced in 25 countries.

The cast for the Bay Street production of “Lend Me a Tenor” includes Judy Blazer, Scott Cote, Betsy DiLellio, Donna English, Nancy Johnston, Noah Plomgren, Steve Rosen and Roland Rusinek.

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Judy Blazer. Courtesy Bay Street Theatre.

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Following “Lend Me a Tenor,” the mainstage season continues with ”The Mystery of Irma Vep” (July 2-28) starring the newly announced cast of Tom Aulino and David Greenspan under the direction of Kenneth Elliott. This satire of several theatrical and film genres, which first opened in 1984 Off-Broadway,  includes Victorian melodrama, farce and the Alfred Hitchcock film “Rebecca” (1940).

The play is written for two actors who, between them, play eight characters of both sexes. Played in camp style, it contains the occasional jibe of an adult nature, but is largely acceptable for younger audiences. Time Magazine and The New York Times both named “The Mystery of Irma Vep” one of the Best Plays of the Year, and in 1991, it was the most produced play in the United States.

BASIC FACTS: Monday Night Comedy Club Lineup begins on June 3 and continues on Monday nights through August. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Comics slated to appear include Ralphie May, Jim Bruer, Joseph Vecsey, Kenny Garcia, Vic Henley, Chris Clarke, Mark Riccadonna, Dom Irrera, Paul Reiser, David Brenner, Amy Schumer, and Paula Poundstone. Tickets are $15 in advance and $25 on the day of the event.

"Lend Me a Tenor" opened on June 1 and remains on the mainstage through June 23. Tickets are $59.50 and $69.50.

"Colin Quinn Unconstitutional!" takes place on Saturday, June 29. Tickets are $62 and $69.

Bay Street Theatre is located at 1 Bay St, Sag Harbor, NY 11963. www.baystreet.org

RELATED: "'Lend Me a Tenor' Launched the Mainstage Season at Bay Street Theatre." Published May 31, 2013.

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  • We saw “Lend me a Tenor” this weekend on Opening Night. What a breath of fresh air has come into Bay Street this season! The fun is back and with it, some wonderful talent who take to the stage in this brilliant farce that puts smiles on everyone’s faces. The audience loved it! It’s going to be one great season at Bay Street!

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