Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical
Tenor
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The 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 Otello for the ten-year anniversary of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company. 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 a suitable replacement. Who is cavalier enough to replace him? With the help of a menacing soprano, a tenor-struck ingénue, a jealous wife, and the Cleveland Police department, mayhem, lunacy and shear panic ensue, but in the end the show must always go on.


SYNOPSIS


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 Verdi’s Otello 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 Otello (“How ‘Bout Me?” Reprise). Soon the room is besieged by the company (“Act 1 Finale”).  Max, now dressed as Otello, 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 Otello  (“Otello Final Moments”).  A triumph, Max receives his due (“Il Stupendo”).  Max returns to the penthouse (still dressed as Otello) 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 Otello) 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 Otello) 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 2 Finale”).

 

QUOTE


Glorious! A Good-Hearted Show with Real Laughs!

–The London Times

Smart, sophisticated, and wonderfully funny.

–The Herald Journal

Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical is worthy of every standing ovation it garners.

–Daily News


Characters:

  • Henry Saunders: Executive director of the opera house, 50s
  • Bernie Guter: stage manager of the opera house
  • Max Garber: his assistant, late 20s/early 30/s
  • 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
  • Reporter
  • Photographers
  • Mayor of Cleveland
  • Harry
  • Bellhops
  • Housemaids
  • Mickey
  • Joe
  • Gala Guests

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

Peter Sham (Book and Lyrics) currently serves as associate chair/director of theatre for Southern Utah University’s Department of Theatre Arts and Dance.  He is most recently known for his work as bookwriter/lyricist on Lend Me A Tenor The Musical (Brad Carroll, composer), which celebrated a successful run at the Gielgud Theatre on London’s West End and has plans to open on Broadway in 2014.  He is the author of three other musicals Toyland, It’s a Dog’s Life: Man’s Best Musical and Waxworks, and the plays Shakespeare’s Moby Dick, a classical adaptation of Herman Melville’s American masterpiece, Twinkle, Twinkle, ‘Killer’ Kane (written with William Peter Blatty – The Exorcist), and A Christmas Carol On The Air (also written with Brad Carroll). A veteran regional actor for over 30 years, he was a principal member of the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival for eleven seasons, and has performed at such places as the Asolo Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Studio Arena Theatre, Eastside Playhouse, Perry Street Theatre, Artpark and Yale Cabaret.  Notable roles include, Salieri in Amadeus, Benjamin Franklin in 1776, Henry Brock in Born Yesterday, King Henry in Henry IV Part One, Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Johnny in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair De Lune and Sancho in Man of LaMancha, starring Robert Peterson. As an educator, he has served as visiting assistant professor of theatre at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and adjunct professor of acting/guest director at Elon University in North Carolina. Peter has directed numerous productions throughout the Eastern United States and Utah and has served as artistic director of the Eichelberger Performing Arts Center in Hanover, Pennsylvania, and Bristol Valley Playhouse in Naples, New York. He holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Delaware’s nationally acclaimed Professional Theatre Training Program.  He is the 2013 recipient of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s Excellence in Education Award and the 2012 winner of SUU’s Board of Trustees Award for Excellence. Peter is married to director/choreographer/ actress, Kirsten Sham, and blessed with two remarkable children, Olivia and Orlando.

 

Brad Carrol (Music) is a director, music director, composer and arranger whose work has been seen in theatres throughout the U.S., in Japan, and in the U.K. In addition to composing music for Lend Me A Tenor The Musical, he is the composer/arranger of the opera-theatre piece Cio Cio San (2005 premiere) and A Christmas Carol: On the Air (written with Peter Sham). Current projects include the libretto for a one-woman opera about Amelia Earhart, Dreaming Amelia, a ballet, Queen Mab, and a stage adaptation of the animated feature Christmas Is Here Again, commissioned by Renegade Animation in Los Angeles. Other produced musicals include: Across The River (based on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn), Togetherness, Christmas Is…A Musical Memory, and a musical treatment of Robin Hood. He has created musical scores for dramatic productions including Cyrano De Bergerac, King Lear, As You Like It, Death Of A Salesman, and To Kill A Mockingbird, as well as adapting The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow and The Nightingale for educational outreach programs. As a writer, director and musical arranger for Walt Disney Entertainment, Mr. Carroll was involved in the creation of three new shows for the multi-billion dollar TokyoDisneySea theme park that opened in Japan in 2001. His musical arrangements/orchestrations have been performed by such prestigious orchestras as the San Francisco Symphony and the Boston Pops.

Performance Royalties are based on theater particulars. Please fill out an application for a personalized quote. 

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 it’s 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: your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production and can be ordered in Printed or Digital format. Printed Materials are provided on unbound three-hole punched loose-leaf paper while 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.

The required materials for Lend Me A Tenor includes:

Production Scripts, Piano/Conductor Score, Piano/Vocal Scores

Orchestrations: Keyboard, Bass, Percussion, Violins 1, 2, and 3, Reeds 1, 2, 3, and 4, Trumpets 1 and 2, Trombone, Horn

Available Products:

Print Edition – Beautifully bound scripts available at wholesale costs to sell in your lobby!

Director's Script – Single-sided script with space for director’s notes.

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

Logo/PR Pack – Includes high-resolution logo artwork, a ready-made show poster, a press packet with pull quotes and reviews, and reference photos to inform your design.

GALLERY

 

VIDEO


Lend Me A Tenor Promo

Lend Me A Tenor Video