Three Mo' Tenors

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TO THE THIRD POWER Diggs, Sojola and Alston Jr., from left, hit the high notes.

TO THE THIRD POWER Diggs, Sojola and Alston Jr., from left, hit the high notes. Aaron Epstein

Time Out Ratings

<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5

Three Mo’ Tenors is a gimmick derived from a gimmick, so one goes in with low expectations. Sure enough, this ingratiating, overamplified pop revue delivers what its clapping-along, singing-along fans want: a living jukebox of charming, operatically trained crooners. The singers’ main boast is versatility: Their program contains samplings from no fewer than ten genres. Numerically, they deliver. But in practice, seeing these refined young vocalists don baseball caps and wag fists in the air singing the moronic chorus from Usher’s “Yeah” is to witness a depressing misuse of their talents. And their strutting and jaw-jutting during a medley of Queen hits inadvertently brings whole new layers of camp to Freddie Mercury’s arena-rock standbys.

The two-hour concert (which could use more connective patter) starts out promisingly, with the trio divvying up Verdi’s “La donna è mobile” before each works his chops in arias. Kenneth Alston Jr.’s stratospheric countertenor contrasts nicely with Ramone Diggs’s delicate, moving lyric tenor and South Africa–born Phumzile Sojola’s rafter-shaking voice. Sadly, the classical repertoire is quickly ditched in favor of tacky selections from the Broadway catalog (including vapid anthems from Les Misérables and Jekyll & Hyde). Toward the end of this sub-Vegas attraction, there’s a touching blend of spirituals, but by then, the concert is beyond salvation.

Little Shubert Theatre (see Off Broadway). Music by various composers and lyricists. Dir. Marion J. Caffey. With Kenneth Alston Jr., Ramone Diggs, Phumzile Sojola. 2hrs. One intermission.

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