A dream come true for show’s creator James Chiao
If you enjoyed the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians, you will love the crazy yet heartwarming fantasy story Tenor By Night, a new musical presented at the historic El Portal Theatre for six performances:
- Saturday, September 22
- Sunday, September 23
- Tuesday, September 25
- Wednesday, September 26
The show’s creator, composer and director James Chiao, has produced an exciting, joyful and original story, inspired by Chiao’s real life as a Chinese-American family man who built a successful mannequin business, yet desired a career in music. Now his passion has been transformed into a Broadway-quality musical, and there’s not a dull moment in the story with singing, dancing, magic and wonderful music. “It has an important message too,” Chiao emphasized, “that it’s never too late to learn and have your dreams come true. At 65 I went back to school to earn my MBA in music and got my degree at 68. Now I have composed a musical. I wrote the book, the lyrics and music. So I know dreams can come true.”
Tenor By Night has some drama when the wife kicks her husband out of the house, and he moves to his place of business, a warehouse where the mannequins become his audience as he practices being a great tenor.”
Starring in the show as the tenor is Kevin Gino. According to Chiao, “Kevin Gino is a fantastic singer and actor. The show features all professional performers, 20 actors, singers and dancers, along with a live 14-piece orchestra. It’s a big musical with all original music with some embedded snippets of familiar arias in some songs. I adapted a song from Figaro changing the lyrics to reflect the new story. There are some tunes similar to the traditional type found in classic Broadway musicals such as South Pacific.”
There’s comedy and mystery in the show too, with the help of a magician who brings the party-loving mannequins to life. It’s an intriguing story with unexpected twists woven into the inspiring tale of pursuing your dreams.
“My life’s true story is mixed with fantasies to create an original family-friendly musical, incorporating all the wonderful qualities of the classic American musicals,” Chiao explained.
Among Tenor By Night’s songs are “Happy Wife, Happy Life,” that women of all ages will love; “What a Difference a Mannequin Makes,” about the hard work and success experienced by the Asian-American lead character; and “Keep Your Day Job,” about pursuing your dreams, even when others tell you “keep your day job.”
Chiao is proud to be breaking new ground presenting the first major U.S. musical composed by a Chinese-American. “As the creator of the show, I’ve been concentrating on making the show as great as I can. I would like to see it touring to other theaters across America for audiences to enjoy.”
“Tenor By Night” is on stage Saturday, September 22 at 2pm and 7:30pm; Sunday, September 23 at 2pm and 7:30 pm; Tuesday, September 25 at 7:30pm; and Wednesday, September 26 at 7:30pm. For tickets go to ElPortalTheatre.com or call (818) 508-4200 or visit the El Portal Theatre box office at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood.