If Jarel Davidow keeps on heading further south for theater work, he's going to end up back in New York City.
A Brooklyn native who grew up in White Plains, Davidow spent most of his theatrical career in New York City before heading to upstate New York in 2012. He is currently artistic director at the Lake George Dinner Theater, and he's also done work with the Glens Falls Community Theater and iTheatre Saratoga. This month, he's been at Curtain Call Theatre in Latham, directing Ken Ludwig's "A Comedy of Tenors." The show opens Friday and runs through Dec. 31.
"The show is hilarious," Davidow said of "A Comedy of Tenors," a play first produced in 2015 and a follow-up to Ludwig's 1989 Tony Award-winning "Lend Me A Tenor." "It's a farce and that's always fun to do. It's fast-moving with a lot of physical comedy and verbal comedy. It's always fun to sink your teeth into a play like this and try to squeeze out as much comedy as you can."
While he's concentrating more on directing these days, Davidow has an extensive acting resume, having performed on stage in such places as the Beckett Theatre, the Workshop Theater Company Jewel Box, the Oberon Theatre Ensemble and the Samuel Beckett Theatre, all in the New York City area. Having spent many summers as a youth at Lake George, Davidow looked forward to spending more time upstate after an acting gig with the Lake George Dinner Theatre in 2012. He is now living in Glens Falls and is an adjunct theater professor at SUNY Adirondack.
"I'm still getting to know the talent around here a bit better, and directing a show at Curtain Call is a great opportunity to do that," said Davidow. "Since moving up here I got to know Carol Max and her husband, Peter, and they asked me if I would be interested in directing a show."
Max, the founder of Curtain Call Theatre, and Davidow have assembled an impressive cast for this production. Steve Leifer is playing the lead, while joining him on stage are Margaret Hassett, Joan Meyer, Abigale Roy, John Sutton, Alex Perone and Ahmet Vargonen. Lauren Barber is the scenic designer, and Denise Dygert and Guy Lee Bailey did the costumes.
Leifer is one of Max's favorite actors, and was called on to replace another performer who had to leave the show. He was in "Arsenic and Old Lace" earlier this year, "Lost in Yonkers" in September of 2017, and "The Normal Heart" in April of 2017, all at Curtain Call.
"I was called by Carol Max to replace someone who was indisposed due to injury," said Leifer, who also played Emile de Becque in a 2015 Schenectady Light Opera Company production of "South Pacific." "The role calls for many quick changes, as well as rapid fire dialogue and accents. I learned the role in a compressed rehearsal schedule, but it's a lot of fun to finish out the year with a challenging role in a zany farce."
"A Comedy of Tenors" is set in 1930s Paris, two years after the events of "Lend Me A Tenor." Two opera divas - a husband and wife team - are on the eve of a major concert and are driving the show's producer to great lengths to keep the production free of chaos.
"I've never seen a production of the show, but Ken Ludwig is a great playwright and I'm having fun working with the cast," said Davidow, who will be directing a SUNY Adriondack production of "Biloxi Blues" in the spring. "I'm pretty busy during the summers at the Lake Theatre up in Lake George, but it's fun to have a chance to work with other groups in the area."
'A Comedy of Tenors'
WHERE: Curtain Call Theatre, 1 Jeanne Jugan Lane, Latham
WHEN: Opens Friday, Nov. 30 and runs through Dec. 31; performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays; there will be a special Saturday matinee at 3 p.m. on Dec. 8
HOW MUCH: $25
MORE INFO: 518-877-7529, or visit www.curtaincalltheatre.com