Set in 1934, Lend Me a Tenor 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.
Ken Ludwig’s original play premiered in the West End at the Globe Theatre (now the Gielgud) in 1986 and received its Broadway premiere in 1989, going on to win two Tony Awards. In March this year, it was revived on Broadway, directed by Stanley Tucci with a cast including Anthony LaPaglia.
Matthew Kelly - whose many recent play credits include Comedians, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Troilus and Cressida, Victory, Of Mice and Men and, most recently, Waiting for Godot with Ian McKellen - plays Saunders, the general manager of the opera company.
Michael Matus (A Christmas Carol, Oklahoma!, Imagine This) is Tito with Whatsonstage.com Award winner Sally Ann Triplett (Anything Goes, Mamma Mia!, Acorn Antiques) as Tito’s wife Maria, and Damian Humbley (Fiddler on the Roof, The Woman in White, The Last Five Years) as 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.
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