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Story by Andy Argyrakis
Sure they wore tuxedos, but like those aforementioned popera stars and the even more sophisticated Michael Buble, The Ten Tenors broke all the rules on opening night of its Chicago residency. While purists might raise their brow at some comical banter and purposefully charming audience interaction, the group was downright delightful in vocal tone and arrangement ingenuity. Plus the sheer diversity of the group's repertoire was enough to give attendees a literal run flashback through the past century of classics, seasonal and otherwise.
Though it just so happened that this tour was timed with Thanksgiving week, the guys are actually touring in support of its eighth studio CD Nostalgica (Warner Brothers). Performance highlights included a contemporary rendering of the shiny show tune "You'll Never Walk Alone," Louis Armstrong's immortal "What a Wonderful World" and even a new wave medley featuring true to form (albeit a bit tongue in cheek) takes on The Knack's "My Sharona," Simple Minds' "Don't You Forget About Me" and Soft Cell's "Tainted Love." And as bizarre as it sounds, a cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" found the fellas accentuating Freddie Mercury and company's sky high harmonies with operatic excellence.
Of course, considering Christmas is right around the corner, the Tenors tipped their hats to the season on several occasions, turning in classy renditions of "Silent Night" and "O Holy Night," while completely reworking "Little Drummer Boy" with jaw dropping vocal acrobatics. In fact, no matter what type of material was on the program, these unsuspecting Aussies proved their ranges were such assets that even the most skeptical could never accuse this act as being a mere novelty, but instead, a true collective talent.
The Ten Tenors appear at various times through November 29, 2009 at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. For additional details, visit www.TheTenTenors.com or www.BroadwayInChicago.com.
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