Lend Me A Tenor – 1st Preview

3 Jun

Lend Me A Tenor is based on a play by Ken Ludwig and has been adapted by Peter Sham and Brad Carroll.

I didn’t know anything about it, apart from that it ran in Plymouth before, but it turned out to be one of the most entertaining evenings I’ve spent in a theatre this year.

The musical is set in Cleveland in 1934, where the famous tenor Tito Merelli is scheduled to sing Otello. Through unfortunate circumstances he is unable to appear and consequently chaos ensues. There are so many hilarious moments in the show, but there are still some quiet scenes and there was not one character I didn’t care for.

The cast includes Matthew Kelly as Henry Saunders, the opera’s General Manager, Damian Humbley as his assistant Max Garber, who is in love with Cassidy Janson’s Maggie Saunders and Michael Matus and Joanna Riding as Tito Merelli and his wife.

It’s a very traditional musical with great songs and dance numbers. It’s nice to see (and especially hear) a big orchestra for a change.

Matthew Kelly is not the best singer in the world, but his voice was adequate and he made up for it with his acting.

Cassidy Jansen is wonderful as his daughter and has got such a lovely tone to her voice. I was never too sure about her in Avenue Q, but she’s stunning in this.

Damian Humbley and Michael Matus both have very strong voices and it was a pleasure to listen to them.

Joanna Riding is great as Maria Merelli, it’s a pity she’s not off stage for big parts of the show.

The ensemble worked so well together and were spot on. Highlights for me were the songs that involved the whole company, their voices  blended so well and the choreography was great.

“For the Love of Opera” needs a special mention, as I loved the tap dancing in it and it was so well choreographed.

All in all, it is simply a wonderful show and I will definitely go and see it again. It was very slick and if I hadn’t known it was the first preview I would have never guessed. Personally, I think it’s the best musical that has opened in the West End this year and my faith in the West End has been restored.

Please notice that it was a preview performance I attended, so there might be changes between now and the official opening night (not that there need to be any, if you ask me!)!

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