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The hit musical Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical has received a West End transfer to the Gielgud Theatre with previews from 2nd June, offically opening on 15th June to 19th November.

The show premiered at Plymouth's Theatre Royal where it received standing ovations every night of it's run and good critical reviews as well as a nomination for best Regional Production at the Whats On Stage Awards.  Incidently the elaborate stage set of the Opera House made by the theatre crew was said to have used up every book of gold leaf in the UK!

Matthew Kelly, Damian Humbley, Michael Matus and Sophie-Louise Dann will reprise their roles with other cast yet to be announced.

Lend Me a Tenor is a comedy by Ken Ludwig. The play was produced on both the West End (1986) and Broadway (1989).  It received seven Tony Award nominations and one for Best Actor. A Broadway revival opened in 2010.

In 2000, Peter Sham (bookwriter/lyricist) met Ken Ludwig for the first time when he invited him to a production of Ludwig's play, Lend Me A Tenor at the Eichelberger Performing Arts Center in Hanover, Pennsylvania, where, at the time, Sham was serving as artistic director.

A few years on while contemplating several musical ideas, Sham called his acquaintance, Ken Ludwig, and asked if they could revamp his famous Lend Me A Tenor into a musical. The next day Ludwig e-mailed him back with the unexpected answer, "Hmm! Never thought about it." Ludwig e-mailed again after several days and said " Let's do it." And on October 24, 2004 the project was born.

Lend Me A Tenor has been Ludwig's greatest success, and he told Sham & Carroll they could do whatever they wanted to the play as they adapted it into a new musical. "When someone gives you that luxury, you honor the work even more," said Sham.

In 2005, having secured option to adapt the play, Sham & Carroll began working on Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical, which they presented as a staged reading at the Utah Shakespearean Festival, in May 2006 and celebrated its American premiere with the same company in the summer of 2007. The production received rave reviews including support from Ludwig, who says, "The music is terrific. The lyrics are fabulous. [Peter and Brad] have done a most incredible job. This is first rate - a home run!"

Matthew Kelly returning back to the West End after his recent run in Sign of the Times at the Duchess Theatre is cast as the 1934 Cleveland, Ohio Opera House Manager who books the world's greatest tenor Tito Merelli played by Michael Matus, to sing for one night and take care of all his financial problems through inflated ticket prices, but after apparently "dying" before the performance, theatre assistant Max played by Damian Humbley, who fancies himself as an opera singer, impersonates Il Stupendo.  He carries it of perfectly, fooling everyone but when Tito suddenly resurrects, true farce takes over with mistaken identities and ensuing chaos with the help of a scheming soprano, a tenor-struck ingénue, a jealous wife and the Cleveland Police department!

Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical, which features a book and lyrics by Peter Sham and music by Brad Carroll, is directed by former Open Air Theatre Artistic Director Ian Talbot and features choreography by the Tony Award-nominated Randy Skinner.

Book Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical tickets online now.

[posted by Louise, 14/04/2011]

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