By Kathy Carpenter
Take some me time this December to enjoy a human connection story. A story that lets you know we are all the best at what we do in some way. North Coast Repertory Theatre present “Two Pianos Four Hands,” just the distraction to escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Spend a couple hours of your time, relaxing, enjoying classic composers and laughter seeing this play by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt, directed by Tom Frey. Experience the journey of two boys in pursuit of the same dream, to become classical pianists.
Dykstra and Greenblatt brought this Canadian musical comedy to life in 1996. The story of pushy parents, eccentric teachers, sacrifices made, competitions, practice, practice and more practice, whatever it takes to be the best on the road to greatness.
The story is told with great humor as it bounces back and forth between Ted and Richard, in two or three minute segments telling each of their stories and how similar or opposing their equivalent experience is. Jefferson McDonald plays Ted, and Matthew McGloin, Richard. These are two masters of comedy, acting and playing [piano. They are the only two actors in the show, taking on the other roles of mother, father, teacher or what have you, in the other boys’ opposing story. Both are equally talented and I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job as the change from adversaries to friends on their quest of a lifelong dream.
Two beautiful pianos graced a classical setting as secondary characters in the show. The two actors dressed in tails for this classy production filled with piano greats from Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and Billy Joel a full twenty two piano favorites The show ends with an awesome rendition of Bach’s Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052, 1st Movement.
Everyone has a childhood dream. We are taught that if we practice long, have a natural gift and work hard enough, our dreams will come true. But sometimes it takes a bit more, something we can’t control. Learning to move past this life lesson is rough, but it’s a human emotion a lot of people can connect with. Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt accept they are big fish in a small pond.
The play is a perfect blend of piano playing and humor. You might not think there is anything funny in piano playing, but McDonald and McGloin will prove you wrong. Experts at the craft of facial expressions and timing, their antics will fill you with joy at the unexpectedness and fun of the production.
Come for the music, stay for the pure entertainment. There is nothing Christmas about the show – give your mind a break.
2 Pianos 4 Hands
December 2022 – January 6 2022
North Coast Repertory Theatre
Coming in January 2023
Blues in The Night