Theater Review: REP's Comedy of Tenors Leaves You Rolling in Laughter

It runs until February 18 at Onstage Theater.

( Repertory Philippines’ premiere of Ken Ludwig’s Comedy of Tenors on January 26 at Onstage Theater took the classical farce to new heights of comedy. Complete with slamming doors, hilarious banters, comical duels between tenors, unforgettable moments of physical comedy, and a few scenes of scantily clad men and women, Miguel Faustmann directed a show that was able to offer something for everyone without having to go over the top.



Lorenz Martinez as Tito Merelli


A sequel to Ludwig’s Lend Me A Tenor that was previously staged by the group, the play continues the story of Tito Merelli (Lorenz Martinez). This time, the story is set at an elegant Paris hotel suite, a few hours before the concert of the three biggest tenors of their time.


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Jeremy Domingo as Henry Saunders



Noel Rayos as Max


It started with Henry Saunders (Jeremy Domingo) blowing his top after one of the tenors that was supposed to perform alongside Merelli and his assistant turned son-in-law Max (Noel Rayos) backs out. It didn’t help that as he and Max scrambled to find a replacement, egos, mistaken identities, and misinterpretations of overheard conversations got in the way, making the audiences wonder if the concert will ever happen right up to the very last minute of the show.


Arman Ferrer as Carlo Nucci and Mica Pineda as Mimi


In the play’s comical web of confusion and misunderstanding, there were many stances where the spectators ended up laughing out loud. The introduction of the almost naked young lovers Carlo Nucci (Arman Ferrer) and Merelli’s daughter, Mimi (Mica Pineda) for instance was a moment of sheer comical brilliance.


Martinez’ interpretation of the aging and opining Tito Merelli and Beppo, the hotel bellhop with the marvelous operatic voice who looked exactly like Merelli, was just plain exquisite. He was able to give slight but noticeable peculiarities for each of the characters who were supposed to be impossible to tell apart. The other casts didn’t have to call him by the character’s name for the spectators to know who he is portraying despite the similarities that those two characters were supposed to have.



Lorenz Martinez as Tito Merelli and Shiela Martinez as Tatiana Racon


Issa Litton’s Maria, Merelli’s feisty and hilarious Italian wife, was on point throughout the play. Her uncanny comedic timing and excellent physical comedy would leave anyone rolling in laughter. Paired with Martinez, their comic chemistry on stage was certainly top notch.




The entire cast was one amazing ensemble. They were able to deliver a screwball comedy feel despite the confusing and intricately entangled plot of the piece. The fact that the whole play used the same set design—which can use a bit of elegance and luxury—to the very end was hardly noticeable, thanks to the casts’ splendid performance.


Overall, Comedy of Tenors is a must-see production. It was a hilariously entertaining play that kept the audiences laughing from start to finish.


RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Spots


Comedy of Tenors runs until February 18 at Onstage Theater, Greenbelt 1, Makati City. Tickets, priced from P1,200 to P1,500, are available through Ticketworld.


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