Enter the Guardsman


Writers: Scott Wentworth Craig Bohmler Marion Adler


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Comedy, Romance
Period, Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
1900-1910 (pre wwi), backstage, european city
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Musical Staging
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, mature adult, young adult characters


The Olivier-nominated Enter the Guardsman, is a lyrical, delicate, and altogether delicious backstage musical. In the soft glow of the ghost light we smell the heavy scent of deep red roses -- the gift of an anonymous lover to a beautiful Actress. The Actress is married to her longtime co-star, the Actor, and they are settling into two long runs: the routine of married life, and yet another long-running onstage romance. Actors are known for their penchant for drama in lieu of routine, so it comes as no surprise that the Actress becomes distracted by a secret admirer. Nervous and pre-emptively heartbroken, the Actor must decide: will he capitulate to the tyranny of time, and the inevitability of the next lover -- or, in a manipulative, daring, professionally intriguing move, will he step into the Guardsman’s manly boots and become his own rival, fighting for his own wife’s affections? Narrated by the sardonic, insightful Playwright who helps the plot unfold, supported by a melodious ensemble of backstage crew, Enter the Guardsman features a deeply elegant and romantic score, influenced by the Viennese waltz. It contains such tunes as the rousing “Enter the Guardsman”, the poignant “Waiting in the Wings”, the sprightly and romantic “Language of Flowers’” and a dreamy, bittersweet meditation on “Art Imitating Life.” Based upon Ferenc Molnar’s The Guardsman, a play made famous as a vehicle for star couple Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, this musical is an intricate, humorous, and tender examination of what it takes to keep a relationship, a narrative, or the long run of a play, fresh and engaging.

Lead Characters

Enter the Guardsman guide sections