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Lend Me a Tenor Musical Goes Back to Gielgud

By • West End
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. **


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