The 3 Redneck Tenors brought their unique mix of comedy and music to Proctors on Saturday night, singing rock n’ roll, grand opera and everything in between.
Actually, the 3 Redneck Tenors are three tenors in name only. The group is comprised of two tenors, Matthew Lord and Alex Bumpas; one baritone, John Wilkerson; and one bass, Dinny McGuire. McGuire doesn’t sing. He “discovers” the trio and acts as narrator.
Their show, “3 Redneck Tenors: A New Musical Adventure,” is a zany tale about three rednecks who can sing up a storm and their unlikely musical journey from a Texas trailer park to Carnegie Hall.
What makes it work?
These boys really can sing.
Lord and Bumpas have trained opera voices, while Wilkerson has a strong background in musical theater.
The basic set is simple: a beat up trailer, an outhouse and a beer keg with a few decorative touches thrown in.
The show begins with a solemn memorial to a tenor who didn’t survive a wood chipping mishap and the “tenors” sing a mix of “Ave Maria” and “Dixie.” After that, the trio makes an entrance from the outhouse and belts out a TV theme song medley, including “Bonanza,” “Love Boat,” “Green Acres,” “Mr. Ed” and “Rawhide.”
At this point they are discovered by The Colonel (McGuire), who signs them to a contract and books them into concerts at rodeos, wrestling arenas, discos, and a steak and chop house.
The singing is what makes this show. The time in between the songs is a problem. The humor is corny (intentionally so, granted), too much of the dialog is shouted and the Colonel has too much dialog between musical numbers. Again understandable, because he is obviously killing time while the singers change from one outlandish outfit to another.
There are too many goofy sight gags, but these lads have superb voices and the arrangements by Craig Bohmler are terrific.
A medley including patriotic songs and armed forces tunes was a big first-half hit and the audience loved it when the trio came out as the Saturday Night Tenors and sang the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” with all the right moves. Ditto for their stints as the “Famous 3 Italian Tenors” singing “O Sole Mio” and “Ye Old Tenors 3” singing “The Impossible Dream.”
During the second half they get into Presley-like jumpsuits at Club Viper and rock the house with their versions of “Hound Dog” and “Viva Las Vegas.” They follow that in drag as the “3 Tenorinas” singing “You Light Up My Life.”
When they finally reach Carnegie Hall, they get serious and give a beautiful rendition of “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s “Turandot.”
Bumpas, by the way, is a multi-talented musician who also plays trumpet. He got in some impressive licks in “Viva Las Vegas” and in the wrestling arena segment he was joined by Wilkerson on clarinet and McGuire on tuba for a short Dixieland excursion.
The singers were accompanied by an excellent five-piece band led by musical director Bohmler.
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: Entertainment, Life and Arts