Mannequin Man by Day, Tenor by Night fuses two worlds, in an epic musical fantasia that brings mannequins, magic – and James' aspirations – to glorious life with dazzling choreography, a soaring original score with a live orchestra.
April 3rd-4th, 2020
Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
18000 Park Plaza Drive • Cerritos, CA 90703
In this new original musical, Tenor by Night, the protagonist, James, designs and sells mannequins by day and practices opera by night. Although he has achieved the American dream as a successful Chinese-American businessman and has always put his family duty first, his passionate desire for a musical career turns into an obsession. While practicing at home for an upcoming vocal competition on his 30th wedding anniversary, James annoys his family with his loud vocalizing and his wife throws him out. He decides to live at his mannequin warehouse, where his neighbor, a magician who has his eye on James’s neglected wife, turns the mannequins to life to becomes James’s adoring audience. James’s life spirals out of control as his singing drastically improves.
James’ wife, Lily, is convinced by the magician to be turned into a yoga mannequin so she can sneak into the warehouse to see what her husband is up to. The yoga mannequin wins first prize in a midnight talent show at the mannequin warehouse and when James dances with her, he recognizes something familiar and yearns to be reunited with his wife. However, James accidentally sells the yoga mannequin to his most persnickety customer and packs her up to be shipped as luggage on a flight to New York. When he realizes that he’s sold his wife, he makes a mad dash to the airport, battles the crowds, and with the help of a singing-dancing chorus of luggage, finds her among the checked baggage. He turns Lily back to life by singing a high “C” ─ which had previously eluded him. The magician appears and declares that Lily should belong to him because he had granted both of their wishes ─ James's to have a devoted audience and Lily’s to disguise her as a mannequin so she could sneak into the warehouse. He threatens to turn Lily back into a mannequin, destined to stand in a store window forever. James fights the magician and Lily declares her commitment to James and “what is real.” Defeating the magician, James and Lily vow to start over again, and when the family reunites, they win an “Amateurs Got Talents” contest as a vocal quartet.
In September 2018 six performances were SOLD OUT at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, CA
July 2018 we had 4 preview performances at the Rose Center Theater in Westminster, CA
Reviews Are In !
“Tenor By Night does not leave even one stone unturned! This show has absolutely everything: music, comedy, drama, mystery, singing, dancing, an evil magician, acrobats, an unbelievably stunning hand balancing act, a bit of three beautiful famous operas, and even a mannequin fashion show and singing luggage! I could not catch my breath between the many surprises." —Karen Salkin, Itsnotaboutme.tv 9/25/18
“Tenor By Night is a new fantasy musical that has a lot of things going for it. The very original story is funny and clever, framed by a wonderful melodic score with songs that soar, and some sassy ones too. And there’s the feel-good backstory of how this show is a dream come true for Chinese immigrant James Chiao. There’s not a dull moment in the story with singing, dancing, and even “magic.” It harkens back to the golden era of Broadway classics. Yet it feels contemporary as well. It’s the best of both worlds." — Margie Barron, EntertainmentToday.net 9/25/18
“There is something very magical about watching dreams come to life. In this case, the journey from the dream to the stage is wondrously profound, to say the least. The musicality is absolutely beautiful, and the cast are all truly exceptional singers. They give life to this delightful story and fill these lovely characters with the passion they deserve. It’s an unusual and enigmatic story, there are so many hilarious moments and also quite poignant and moving turns to the story. My absolute favorite number involved dancing suitcases at the airport in a frantic race to save Lily. You’ll just have to see it to believe it!" — Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros, Nohoartsdistrict.com 9/26/18
"'Tenor’ is, essentially, charming...produced with excellent tech design by daughter Amy Chiao...this production (including "living" mannequins with plastic breasts and hunky Chippendales clones with shiny six packs) adds to the satirical approach…with genuine humor yet still retains his fundamental message: Pursue the dream. With a nod to Joseph Campbell: Follow your bliss.” —Michael Sheehan, OnStageLosAngeles.blogspot.com 9/23/18