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Lend Me A Tenor is set in September 1934. Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is primed to welcome world-famous singer Tito Merelli, known as Il Stupendo, the greatest tenor of his generation, to appear for one night only as the star of the opera. Tito arrives late, and through a hilarious series of mishaps, he is given a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out. His pulse is so low that Saunders and his assistant Max believe he’s dead – and in a frantic attempt to salvage the evening, Saunders persuades Max to get into Merelli’s costume and fool the audience into thinking he’s Il Stupendo. Max succeeds and lives up to his idol, but Merelli regains consciousness and gets into the identical costume, ready to perform. Now two opera singers are running around in the same costume and two women are running around in lingerie, each thinking she is with Il Stupendo.
Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.
Originally Produced by the American Stage Festival.
Ken Ludwig is a two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright who has written over 26 plays and musicals, including 6 shows on Broadway and 7 in London’s West End. His first Broadway play, Lend Me A Tenor, won two Tony Awards and was called “one of the classic comedies of the 20th century” by The Washington Post. His other awards include the Helen Hayes Award, the 2017 Samuel French Award for Sustained Excellence in the American Theatre, the Edgar Award for Best Mystery of the Year, and the Edwin Forrest Award for Contributions to the American Theater. His book How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare, published by Penguin/Random House, won the Falstaff Award for Best Shakespeare Book of the Year, and his essays are published by the Yale Review. Ken’s best known works include Crazy For You (5 years on Broadway, Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Musical), Lend Me A Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo, The Game’s Afoot, Baskerville, Sherwood, A Fox on the Fairway, and a stage version of Murder on the Orient Express, written expressly at the request of the Agatha Christie Estate. His newest play, The Gods of Comedy, premieres in 2019 at The McCarter Theater in Princeton and The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. On Broadway and the West End, his plays have starred Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, Tony Shalhoub, Lynn Redgrave and Joan Collins. He holds degrees from Harvard, where he studied music with Leonard Bernstein, Haverford College and Cambridge University. His work has been performed in over 30 countries in more than 20 languages, and is produced somewhere in the United States and abroad every night of the year. www.kenludwig.com