‘A Comedy of Tenors’ brings laughs to the theater for all ages

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The Stockton Civic Theatre is putting on a show called “A Comedy of Tenors,” a sequel to the 2013 play “Lend Me A Tenor.”

The show is a musical-comedy about a group of performers and their producer trying to get their acts together for a big performance, set in 1930s Paris.

Producer Henry Saunders, played by actor Mike Kiley, is about to put on the biggest show of his life, when chaos erupts among his performers.

Mistaken affairs, pregnancies, doppelgangers and births almost threaten to cancel the performance.

There are plenty of comedic moments throughout the play, one that especially shines is when star performer Tito, played by Scott Minor, tries to explain he saw his wife having an affair with a younger man using his fingers. 

The play is set entirely in a Paris Hotel Room right across from the Paris Olympic stadium. The set design is simple, but accurate to the time and the actors make great use of the props around them. 

While it is disappointing the performers aren’t actually performing the musical acts in the show, it’s made up for by the comedic gestures and body language from the performers. 

The entire play can be summed up as a case of mistaken identity, due to the phrasing from different characters and the uncanny similarities between Tito and the bellhop Beppo, both played by Minor.

While the play’s targets audience was definitely older, the humor worked for even the youngest of children. 

There are, however, references and jokes that can go over the audience’s head if they are not up to date on French plays and literature. 

While the story is simple, what really makes the play fun is the individual performances, specifically during moments of humor.

The performers were able to tell when a joke really landed and would exaggerate body language to make the funniest moments even funnier.

Subtle fourth-wall breaks happened throughout the show, from mentions of theater to the acknowledgment of an audience watching them.

The music number during the finale was performed with silhouettes behind a fake curtain, and as the high notes rose, the actors arm movements became more erratic leaving the play on one last high note. 

Even though the plot felt like it was out of a 80’s sitcom, the jokes and performances from individual actors made the play really shine.

The highlight actor of the play is Scott Minor, who gives a great performance as Toto. His accent straddles the line between stereotypical Italian and genuine joy between scenes.  

His wife, played by Carmen Musch, also gives a great performance as a no nonsense woman who cares deeply for her husband.

The show’s final run is this weekend, Jan. 31 to Feb. 3.