Lend Me a Tenor
name = Lend Me a Tenor
image_size = 150px
writer = Ken Ludwig
setting = A hotel suite in Cleveland, Ohio in 1934.
genre = Comedy
ibdb_id = 5331
"Lend Me a Tenor" is a
Tony Awardwinning play by Ken Ludwig. The play has been translated into sixteen languages and produced in twenty-five countries. It is a popular choice of regional theatrecompanies and community theatregroups.
Set in 1934, the
farcerevolves around renowned tenorTito Merelli, known to his fans as "Il Stupendo," who is scheduled to sing the lead in " Otello", produced as a gala fundraiser for the ClevelandOpera Company. Unfortunately, even before the star leaves his hotel room, everything begins to unravel. Chaos ensues when Merelli's wife, who has mistaken an autograph-seeker hidden in his closet for a secret lover, leaves him a "Dear John" letter. The distraught Merelli accidentally is given a double dose of tranquilizersto calm him and passes out. Saunders, the company's General Manager, is determined the show must go on (for his own financial sake), so he asks his assistant Max to impersonate the operastar. Max puts on the blackfacemakeup required for the role of Otello, and his disguise succeeds admirably--until Merelli, also in blackface, wakes up and heads for the stage. What follows is a chain-reaction of mistaken identity, plot twists, double entendres, innuendoes, and constant entrances and exits through many doors.
After sixteen previews, the Broadway production, directed by
Jerry Zaks, opened on March 2, 1989at the Royale Theatre, where it ran for 476 performances. The cast included Philip Bosco, Victor Garber, Ron Holgate, Tovah Feldshuh, and Jane Connell.
A musical adaptation was presented in May 2006 as a staged reading as part of the
Utah Shakespearean Festival's New American Playwright Project. Based on feedback received from the audience and industry professionals, the creative team fine-tuned their work, which premiered as part of USF's Summer 2007 repertory season and received rave reviews [http://www.kenludwig.com/Press%20Release%20Announcing%20the%20Show%20-%20Nov.%202%2C%202006.pdf] .
Awards and nominations
Laurence Olivier Awardfor Comedy of the Year
Tony Awardfor Best Play
* [http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?ID=4535/ Internet Broadway Database listing]
* [http://theater2.nytimes.com/mem/theater/treview.html?res=950DE4DC103EF930A35750C0A96F948260/ New York Times review]
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