Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical


Lend Me A Tenor
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A riotous tale of mistaken identities and unexpected romance explodes in this brand new musical comedy, based on the Tony Award-nominated play. It’s 1934, and opera virtuoso Tito Merelli is about to revive Pagliacci for the ten-year anniversary of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company. But when Tito becomes unexpectedly incapacitated, a suitable replacement must be found. Max, the opera director’s sheepish assistant, is charged with the daunting task of finding someone cavalier enough to fill in for the star. Thanks to a menacing soprano, a tenor-struck ingénue, a jealous wife, and the Cleveland Police Department, mayhem, lunacy, and sheer panic ensue, but in the end, the show must always go on!


Act I

It’s the biggest night in the history of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company. World-famous tenor Tito Merelli, “Il Stupendo,” is to perform Pagliacci at the 50th anniversary gala season-opener. However, on the day of the show, Merelli is nowhere to be found, leaving Henry Saunders, the opera’s executive director, along with Max Garber, his assistant, in a panic (“Where the Hell Is Merelli?”). Meanwhile, Maggie Saunders, Henry’s daughter, is making preparations for Merelli’s arrival, and soon we realize that she has other plans concerning Merelli (“Fling”). Saunders rushes in and Max suggests an alternate plan should Merelli fail to show (“How ‘Bout Me?”). Finally, Merelli and his wife, Maria, arrive (“For the Love of Opera”). But Tito is in shaky shape to perform. He has a terrible stomachache, and what’s more, is at odds with his wife over his preoccupation with women (“Facciamo L’amor”). Unable to take it any longer, Maria begins composing a “goodbye forever” note to her husband (“The Last Time”). Meanwhile, oblivious in the next room, Max and Tito share an unexpected moment (“Be You’self”). Soon Tito, groggy after unwittingly ingesting a triple dose of tranquilizers finds Maria’s note and threatens to kill himself. Max calms his tirade and sings him tenderly to sleep (“Before You Know It”). Later, when Max returns to wake Tito, the tenor is lifeless. Max comes to the horrifying conclusion that Tito is “dead!” Saunders hears the news and convinces Max that now he MUST play Pagliacci (“How ‘Bout Me? Reprise"). Soon the room is besieged by the company (“Act I Finale”). Max, now dressed as Pagliacci, and a bundle of confusion and doubt, resolves to finish what he’s started and leaves the room triumphantly— as Tito awakens from his stupor.

Act II

The Act begins backstage with Max (as Tito) concluding his performance in Pagliacci (“Pagliacci Final Moments”). A triumph, Max receives his due (“Il Stupendo”). Max returns to the penthouse (still dressed as Pagliacci) only to find Maggie at the door. Thinking he is Tito, she asks a favor (“Lend Me A Tenor”). Soon Max discovers that Tito has disappeared and exits as the real Tito (dressed as Pagliacci) enters. Diana surprises Tito and treats him to an impromptu audition (“May I Have A Moment?”). At once the penthouse bursts into a riotous and unpredictable explosion of mistaken identities. Maggie is left in the sitting room with Max, while Saunders (also dressed as Pagliacci) and Diana are left in the bedroom. They begin to make love. Meanwhile, at the gala, Tito is desperately trying to escape (“Il Stupendo Reprise"). In the “after-glow” in the penthouse, Max is left alone to ponder his mistake (“Knowing What I Know”). Finally, the truth is revealed and everyone is filled with a sense that they just might get the thing each of them desires, and that the Cleveland Grand Opera Company’s future will be a bright one (“Act II Finale”).


Glorious! A Good-Hearted Show with Real Laughs!

–The London Times

Smart, sophisticated, and wonderfully funny.

–The Herald Journal

Worthy of every standing ovation it garners!

–Daily News


Henry Saunders – Executive director of the opera house, 50s.

Bernie Guter – Stage manager of the opera house.

Max Garber – His assistant, late 20s/early 30s.

Opera Guild Lady #1 – Lady of the Opera Guild, 50s-60s.

Opera Guild Lady #2 – Lady of the Opera Guild, 30s-40s.

Opera Guild Lady #3 – Lady of the Opera Guild, 20s-30s.

Diana Divane – Diva of the opera house, 40s.

Maggie Saunders – Saunders’ daughter, mid-20s.

Tito Merelli – The international opera star, mid/late 40s.

Maria Merelli – His volatile wife, late 30s/early 40s.

Otello Cast Members
Reception Committee
Mayor of Cleveland
Gala Guests

Setting: Cleveland, Ohio on a Saturday in September, 1934.

  1. Overture
  2. Where The Hell Is Merelli?
  3. Fling
  4. How 'Bout Me
  5. For The Love Of Opera
  6. Facciamo L’Amor
  7. The Last Time
  8. Be You’self
  9. Before You Know It
  10. How ‘Bout Me? (Reprise)
  11. Act I Finale
  12. Entr'acte
  13. Otello (Final Moments)
  14. Il Stupendo
  15. Lend Me A Tenor
  16. May I Have A Moment?
  17. Il Stupendo (Reprise)
  18. Knowing What I Know
  19. Act II Finale
  20. Exit Music

Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement. To download the show rider for Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical, click here.

“A musical farce is a tricky thing to pull off, but Lend Me A Tenor shows us how it’s done. Plenty of laughs… an enchanting piece” –The London Magazine

“Hilarious. This musical farce has it all. Full speed ahead to laughter land.” –Magic 105.4

“This is by far and away the most accomplished musical comedy opening in the west end this season.” –The Stage

“Warms the entire auditorium. An ageless evening of fluffy fun.” –Official London Theatre Website

“Crammed with laughter and great numbers. London has another winner!” –The Essex Enquirer

“The best new musical of the year.” –The Classical Source

“Will keep you in stitches. A great show that you have to see!” –Here Is The City: Life

“A fantastic night at the theatre. Do not miss this production, it’s a real gem!” –The Public Reviews

“An intoxicating piece… A noteworthy new musical addition to the West End scene.” –Theatreworld Internet Magazine

“Utterly hilarious… Remarkably well-written… A feel-good musical and a potent laughter tonic.” –Hubpages.com

“I love this new musical comedy. It’s more fun than Shrek or even Betty Blue Eyes." –The Independent

“Glorious! A good-hearted show with real laughs.” –The London Times

“There’s a decent laugh every 30 seconds. It’s the sort of show that got america through the depression, and do we ever need it now.” –The Bloomberg News

“Stylish fun… Deserves to run and run. You shouldn’t miss it.” –The Arts Desk

“Richer than your average farce.” –Express.Co.Uk Website

“A warm-hearted, old-fashioned farce with jokes to match.” –The British Theatre Guide Website

“Infallibly effervescent entertainment… Musical humour at its best!” –Gay Times

“A breath of fresh air to London’s West End… Laughs from start to finish.” –LastMinuteTheatreTickets.com

“Will leave you with a smile on your face and humming one of its many catchy songs.” –New Shopper

“A fabulous farce. A hoot of a hit.” –News of the World

Materials: Digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.

Required production materials for Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical:

  • Cast Scripts
  • Vocal Books
  • Director's Script
  • Stage Manager's Script
  • Orchestrations
  • Piano/Conductor Score
  • Piano/Vocal Score


  • Keyboard
  • Double Bass
  • Percussion
  • Violin 1/Mandolin
  • Violin 2
  • Violin/Viola
  • Reed 1 (Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
  • Reed 2 (Oboe, Cor Anglais)
  • Reed 3 (Flute, Clarinet in Bb, Tenor Saxophone)
  • Reed 4 (Clarinet, Clarinet in Bb, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone)
  • Trumpet 1
  • Trumpet 2
  • Tenor Trombone
  • Horn

Optional Materials:

  • Original Cast Recording – Original London Cast Recording of Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical