When it comes to large egos, it has been said that you can find the largest in the entertainment industry, where divas abound. It’s a concept that Repertory Philippines explores in A Comedy of Tenors, an operatic farce that pokes fun at massive egos in massive proportions.
In A Comedy of Tenors, we are introduced to Tito Merelli, an aging Italian opera singer set to perform what is described as the concert of the century in Paris with three other tenors. When his temper and pride flare up, his assistant Max and the producer Henry Saunders must do whatever it takes to keep the concert’s lineup intact. Along the way, we are introduced to his hot-blooded wife Maria, his daughter Mimi, and Tatiana Racon, a sizzling Argentinian singer who just happens to show up. The result? A fast-paced and amusing mix of mistaken identities, bedroom drama, and an incredible song number.
Despite the chaos, the actors in the show truly stand out. Lorenz Martinez is a tour de force as Tito, portraying the role of an aging Italian superstar with such conviction and force. He was complemented by Issa Litton as Maria, whose exaggerated portrayal of the wife provided many of the show’s comedic moments. Noel Rayos as the timid assistant Max and Jeremy Domingo as the exasperated Saunders were perfect as I’ve seen them portray similar roles before. Mica Pineda as Mimi, Arman Ferrer as the tenor Carlo Nucci, and Sheila Valderrama-Martinez as Tatiana were just as good but they weren’t given much stage time.
The play is about a group of musicians so there was one song number, “La Traviata Brindisi-Allegretto,” performed by Tito, Carlo, and Max. This was my favorite part because it featured the powerful voices of Martinez, Ferrer, and Rayos. I know that Martinez has experience in musicals but I haven’t heard him sing so it was a pleasant surprise that he could give Tito a run for his money. The same goes for Rayos, who also surprised me with his vocal prowess. But the highlight for me was Ferrer, whose booming voice soared over the theater. I watched him perform in the musical Mabining Mandirigma and I was happy to see that he brought the same energy here.
A Comedy of Tenors‘ production design was a thing of beauty, with the set and costumes appropriate for its setting in 1930’s Paris. The set, a luxury hotel’s room, was also lavishly and elegantly-designed. Of course, you can’t expect less from Repertory, who has repeatedly created beautiful worlds.
This comedic farce is filled with misunderstandings and hijinks, and while I do feel guilty laughing at the characters’ misfortunes, it makes for an entertaining show.
This story is in partnership with Repertory Philippines. A Comedy of Tenors will be staged at Onstage Theater, at the 2nd Floor, Greenbelt 1, Paseo de Roxas corner Legazpi Street Makati City, from January 26 to February 17. For inquiries, you may call Rep at 843-3570, and Ticketworld at 891-9999 or log on to www.ticketworld.com.ph. For updates and show schedules, log on to www.repertoryphilippines.ph. You may also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.