What Is the Story of Lend Me a Tenor?
World-renowned tenor Tito Merelli has signed on to play Otello at a Cleveland opera company in the fall of 1934. He arrives late and, through a set of crazy circumstances, passes out after mixing wine with a huge dose of tranquilizers. Believing that the divo is dead, the excitable opera manager taps his hapless assistant, an aspiring singer named Max, to suit up as the Moor and replace Merelli. Meanwhile, the tenor’s jealous wife, his ambitious female co-star, Max’s young girlfriend and the flirtatious head of the opera guild are on the scene fighting—sometimes literally—for the star’s attention.
"The most howlingly funny and ingeniously staged laugh machine to hit Broadway in years. Stanley Tucci makes a slam-bang Broadway directing debut...and has inspired a cast of comic equals to harmonize the insanity, land the gags and top each other. Ludwig's screwball door-slammer is structurally perfect. There's no point in telling you how superbly fun this all is: Go now, and don't wait for the fat lady to sing."Review by David Cote from Time Out New York
"The show is directed at a jet-propelled pace by Stanley Tucci...What gives this production an unexpected boost is something not usually found in a farce—heart."Review by Michael Kuchwara from Associated Press
What Is Lend Me a Tenor Like?
The play is a classic farce that wins big laughs from mistaken identity, mixed signals and misunderstandings. Set in a hotel suite with six doors that get slammed frequently as the play’s eight characters rush to chase or hide from one another, the action builds to a frenzy once Max decides to pretend to be Merelli. Act Two is filled with comedic surprises, especially after the real Tito resurfaces. Blessed with a starry cast directed with skill by Stanley Tucci, Lend Me a Tenor is a hilarious romp that feels as fresh today as the original Broadway production did in 1989.
Is Lend Me a Tenor Good for Kids?
The play has some harmlessly suggestive elements (two female characters end up in undergarments during a comic seduction scene), but overall, the play is harmless fun. If your school-age child has a taste for slapstick comedy, Lend Me a Tenor may be just the ticket for a multi-generational family outing.