Opening this week

• The University of Southern Maine theater department begins its performance season with the comedy “Lend Me a Tenor,” directed by Wil Kilroy. Performances in the Russell Hall auditorium on the Gorham campus are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Oct. 14-16, and at 5 p.m. Oct. 10 and Oct. 17.

Tickets cost $15 for general admission; $11 for seniors, faculty, staff and alumni; and $8 for students.

For reservations, call 780-5151.

The show is well-known: It’s opening night at the opera in Cleveland in September 1934. The audience murmurs in the sold-out theater, the stage is set, and it’s three minutes to curtain. But Tito Merelli, the greatest tenor in the world, is missing. How the company deals with his absence provides the laughs.

USM theater faculty members are handling the design. Chuck Kading is the set designer, Renee Garcia is costume designer and Shannon Zura is lighting designer. USM theater major Cat Ballou is stage manager.

The cast includes Jacob Cote of Bangor, Tyler Johnston of Yarmouth, Matthew DeFiore of Mexico, Rylee Doiron of Wilton, Kaitlin McGinley of Lyman and Kyle Skillin of Biddeford.

• The Portland Symphony Orchestra, with Robert Moody at the helm, opens its season at 2:30 p.m. today with a program that features guest bass player Edgar Meyer. Meyer and the orchestra will repeat the program at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Both performances are at Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland

Tickets range from $15.30 to $63, and are available through PortTix; 842-0800 or

— Compiled by Bob Keyes, Staff Writer