Lend Me a Tenor Musical Goes Back to Gielgud
Date: 11 April 2011
Following the early closure of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg next month, another new musical is preparing to move into Shaftesbury Avenue’s Gielgud Theatre. The musical adaptation of Ken Ludwig’s play Lend Me a Tenor, which had a try-out last September at the Theatre Royal Plymouth and was nominated for Best Regional Production in the Whatsonstage.com Awards, is due to receive its West End premiere there on 15 June 2011 (previews from 2 June), according to reports on Twitter.
Coincidentally, Ken Ludwig’s original award-winning play premiered at the same address (then called the Globe Theatre) in 1986 before going on to receive its Broadway premiere in 1989 and to win two Tony Awards. In March 2010, it was revived on Broadway, directed by Stanley Tucci with a cast including Anthony LaPaglia.
Set in 1934, Lend Me a Tenor The Musical revolves around renowned tenor Tito Merelli, known as "Il Stupendo", as he prepares to perform his greatest role, Otello. Things go wrong at the final dress rehearsal though, as a case of mistaken identity, double entendres and innuendoes threaten to ruin the show. When Tito is incapacitated, the director’s meek assistant Max is given the daunting task of finding a last-minute replacement.
In Plymouth, where the musical ran from 24 September to 6 October 2010, the 27-strong cast was led by Matthew Kelly (as Saunders, the general manager of the opera company), Michael Matus (Tito), Sally Ann Triplett (Tito’s wife Maria) and Damian Humbley (Max).
The musical has book and lyrics by Peter Sham, with music by Brad Carroll. It’s directed by former Open Air Theatre artistic director Ian Talbot, with musical supervision by Paul Gemignani, musical direction by Colin Billing, choreography by Randy Skinner, designs by Paul Farnsworth, lighting by Tim Mitchell, sound by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster and orchestrations by Chris Walker.
** WOULD YOU LIKE TO ATTEND A WHATSONSTAGE.COM OUTING TO LEND ME A TENOR? REGISTER YOUR INTEREST BY EMAILING US HERE. IF THERE’S ENOUGH DEMAND, WE’LL TRY TO ORGANISE AN EVENT & WILL ALERT YOU WHEN WE HAVE. ALL OUTINGS GO ON SALE FIRST TO MEMBERS OF OUR THEATRE CLUB, WHO GET AN ADDITIONAL £1 SAVING ON EVERY TICKET BOOKED DURING THEIR PRIORITY BOOKING PERIOD. **
- by Terri Paddock
|I had the pleasure of seeing Lend Me A Tenor in Plymouth on it's first night and twice more. It was wonderful. The set alone is worth seeing, so congratulations to the TR2 team who built it. I wish it all the very best for it's run in the West End. - Jeanette Nicholls||12 Apr 11|
|I first had the pleasure of being part of the group hearing this play in the initial read through in Cedar City, UT, and then, later, I saw the production put on by the Utah Shakespeare Festival (in the same city). It's so grand this clever piece of work is moving on in the world. Both Peter and Brad have done a magnificent job of converting a very, very funny play into a very, very good musical. Well done to both men on their introduction to the West End. To the entire cast and crew--Break a leg!! - Karen Vohs||11 Apr 11|
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