Tenor brings humor to Acorn Theater

Published 2:00 pm Friday, June 29, 2012

When Warren Moulton watched an old Marx Brothers’ film as a child, he had no way of knowing it would lead to a very unusual vocation.

“I was a huge Groucho Marx fan as a kid and wanted to be a comedian,” Moulton said, “but when I saw ‘A Night At the Opera,’ I became an opera fanatic, as well.”

Years later, he parlayed his love of opera and comedy into a career as a singer, comic, actor, raconteur and writer. Moulton, best known to Harbor Country audiences as the wise-cracking host of the operatic ensemble “The Other 3 Tenors,” brings his one-man show, “Not Just Another Tenor,” to the Acorn Theater at 8 p.m. July 7.

“This is not your typical opera singer’s show,” says the mustachioed singer, explaining his performances are brimming with old American standards, plenty of Broadway showtunes, international favorites and a bit of opera and operetta. “These are the tunes that we all grew up with.”

Concertgoers can expect to hear selections by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Henry Mancini, Lerner and Loewe, Sigmund Romberg, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Giuseppe Verdi as well as music made famous by such artists as Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra.

There will also be plenty of commentary from Moulton.

“I can never just sing a program,” Moulton said. “I don’t use a printed program, so I like to explain the numbers I’m going to sing.”

Moulton’s background as a stand-up comic also leads to humorous moments

“There’s always a great deal of bantering with the crowd during my shows,” the tenor said.

During one show at the Acorn, a female patron, who had enjoyed a few too many glasses of wine, began to converse with Moulton from the front row.

“People in the audience were yelling at this poor woman to be quiet,” Moulton said, “but I told them, ‘Don’t shush her! I’ve been waiting3 0 years for straight lines like this!’”

Most of all, Moulton stresses Not Just Another Tenor is going to be a fun evening.

“I’m tired of stuffy, pretentious concerts by classical artists,” he said, “and I see no reason why they have to be that way. I like to think that my show is audience friendly and full of the familiar.”

Moulton, who is known for opening the second half of his programs to audience requests, was asked whether he plans to do this at the Acorn show.

“It depends on the vibe I’m getting from the audience,” he said. “Just so long as nobody gets smart and requests ‘The Daughter of the Regiment’ aria with the nine high Cs, I think we’ll be OK!”

Tickets at $20 are available at (269) 756-3879 or at www.acorntheater.com.