|2 Pianos 4 Hands is the riotous tale of two boys, Ted and Richard, in Canada sharing the same goal: concert pianist stardom. They work fervently towards their dream amidst pushy parents, eccentric teachers, hours of repetitive practice, stage fright, the agony of competitions and the dream of greatness.
Two actors, two pianos and many, many characters grace the stage as fifteen years of learning the art of piano playing unfolds. From classical to pops to jazz, the play provides the chance for two performers to give their all in a 120-minute virtuoso performance. Along the journey the actors/pianists portray a dazzling range of characters embellished with a show of piano wizardry featuring the music of Bach, Beethoven and Jerry Lee Lewis.
In the beginning, the actors take turns playing child versions of each character while the other assumes the role of the teacher, the adjudicator, the parent. As "friendly" competitors nearing their teens they face off at various festivals experiencing stage fright and the dread of losing to eight year old prodigies. And as young adults, their eyes open to new ideas and influences. Gradually their piano playing and perspectives on the world evolves. From The Birch Canoe they move to auditioning for Conservatories, playing the music of classical and jazz masters, facing conflicts with their parents, and, well, at least thinking about the opposite sex...
And as they mature, Ted and Richard become more aware of the gap between the very good and the great, and come to the humbling realization that greatness may be out of reach. And there lies the universal plight of all those with an ounce of training and talent and the will to "be" a professional musician, or athlete, or actor or dancer.
2 Pianos 4 Hands captures the humour that comes with learning to play the piano, and the sense of loss of eventually learning to let go of the dream.
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