|That is a pre-opening night jitter expressed by one half of the creative force behind 2 Pianos 4 Hands. Little did he realize that after April 2 1996 2 Pianos 4 Hands would become one of Canada's most successful theatre productions ever, touring to over 100 cities on four continents in its first five years. Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt quickly became recognized as great actors AND great piano players.
In 1993, both Ted and Richard were appearing in Chamber Concerts Canada's So You Think You're Mozart and after comparing stories about their piano lesson days, the two former would-be prodigies were encouraged by Tarragon Associate Artistic Director Andy McKim to put their early piano experiences on paper.
In 1994, Ted and Richard formed Talking Fingers, and under this company name first workshopped 2 Pianos 4 Hands at the Tarragon, with generous support from the Ontario Arts Council. Tarragon Theatre subsequently programmed the show as part of its 1995/1996 season, where it garnered rave reviews, played a sold-out run, received the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Production and the prestigious Chalmers Award. Tarragon Theatre then toured the production nationally from May 1996 to September 1997.
In the fall of 1997, 2 Pianos 4 Hands was presented Off Broadway at The Promenade Theatre by a team of producers, David and Ed Mirvish, Ben Sprecher and William P. Miller.
|The production was widely acclaimed, and ran for 6 months before transferring to the Kennedy Centre in Washington.
2 Pianos 4 Hands has since played to sold-out houses at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, at the Comedy Theatre in the West End of London (both productions with Ted and Richard).
In the fall of 2003 Ted and Richard reunited to perform in the greatly anticipated Toronto revival at the majestic Elgin Theatre, again playing to sold-out houses and spectacular reviews. And in the spring of 2004, Ted and Richard toured to Tokyo, Japan where they played for three weeks at Le Theatre Ginza, presented by Japan’s largest theatre company, Shochiku.
There have been other productions, with other "Teds” and “Richards" and "Theas” and “Rachels" in Canada and across the globe. To date 2 Pianos 4 Hands has been translated into four languages — French, Japanese, German and Finnish and theatres from around the world are inquiring about how they too can produce one of Canada's most loved plays.
Since its humble Toronto premier, 2 Pianos 4 Hands has had nearly 4000 performances at 175 different theatres throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia/New Zealand and South Africa playing to approximately 2 million people.
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