Ken Ludwig’s classic farce Comes to Centerstage

When asked why he selected LEND ME A TENOR, Centerstage Artistic Director, Alan Bryce remembered his Grandma. She used to say: “You should always get to know what you’re getting into before you get into it. And once you’ve gotten into it, you better damn well like it.”’

“LEND ME A TENOR is a farce”, said Bryce. “And the dictionary defines farce as ‘a comic dramatic work which uses buffoonery, horseplay, broad humor, simple characterization and ludicrously improbable situations.’ But as buffoonery, horseplay, broad humor, simple characterization and ludicrously improbable situations go...” said Bryce, “it doesn’t get any better than LEND ME A TENOR. So yes, I DO like it…because it is quite simply the best of its kind.”

And if that’s what audiences expect, they cannot go wrong with this ridiculously funny play, which has been earning belly laughs worldwide for the past 25 years.

The plot revolves around the Cleveland Opera Company. A famous Italian tenor is making his American debut in the company's production of Otello". The financial and critical success of the company depends on his performance - and nobody is more aware of this than the short-tempered General Manager, who’ll stop at nothing to make sure the show goes on.

He gives his long-suffering assistant an order: babysit the tenor in his hotel suite and let nothing - especially wine and women - keep him from his appointed curtain time. But when the tenor swallows too many sedatives and must be replaced by the nervous assistant…all operatic and farcical hell breaks loose.

LEND ME A TENOR was written by KEN LUDWIG, who has had six shows on Broadway and six in the West End. He has won two Laurence Olivier Awards, three Tony Award nominations, two Helen Hayes Awards and the Edgar Award. His work has been commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and has been performed in thirty countries in over twenty languages. Broadway and West End shows include Crazy For You; Lend Me A Tenor; Moon Over Buffalo; Twentieth Century; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Treasure Island. Other major plays include Shakespeare in Hollywood; Leading Ladies; Be My Baby; The Beaux' Stratagem, an adaptation with Thornton Wilder at the request of the Wilder Estate; The Three Musketeers; The Fox on the Fairway; ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas; Midsummer/Jersey, The Game's Afoot, and Baskerville. His book, How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare, will be published in 2013 by Crown Publishing. He studied music at Harvard with Leonard Bernstein and theatre history at Cambridge University in England. For more information, please visit

Appearing in the Centerstage cast are Bob DeDea, Rosalie Hilburn, Daniel Wood, Chris Maxfield, Kate Alden, Alexandra Novotny and Alison Soma. LEND ME A TENOR is directed by Vince Brady and designed by Michael Ward, with costumes by Rachel Wilkie.

Tickets for all 12 performances are on sale and available by phone at (253) 661-1444, online at, and in person at the Knutzen Family Theater box office. Single tickets are $28 for adults; $24 for seniors, military, students 18 & over with ID; and $10 for youth 25 & under. All shows are performed at the Knutzen Family Theatre. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm

Centerstage is Federal Way’s resident Theatre Company. It was founded in 1977 and for the past fourteen years has produced shows at the Knutzen Family Theatre on the shores of Puget Sound. Artistic Director Alan Bryce is committed to producing “innovative, accomplished productions of popular work and for new work with the widest possible audience appeal.” In April 2009, the City of Federal Way awarded Centerstage the contract to manage the Knutzen Family Theatre, saving both the city and theatre company $60,000 per year.

We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed.