A labour of love is labour nevertheless, and in their play 2 Pianos 4 Hands, Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt present that side of the story as well. It's done with humour, but it's there all the same in this therapeutic look back at their lifelong experience as musicians, and their love-hate relationship with the piano.

The Globe Theatre production features Tom Frey and Richard Carsey, and, like Dykstra and Greenblatt, who performed it here in 1997, they make it work not only with their talents as actors and musicians but also with an artistic partnership that is seamless and an execution that has the precision the play demands.

Frey plays Ted and Carsey is Richard. In parallel storylines, before they merge into one, the play takes us back to the earliest, force-fed lessons and proceeds from there through a series of snappy vignettes to mind-numbing music festivals, dreaded adjudications and tense conservatory auditions.

The metaphorical path to stardom is a long and winding road, and it is booby-trapped with more than enough obstacles to knock the travellers off the track. The fact that Ted and Richard persevere in the end is a testimony to their commitment, their dedication, and their discipline.

Not only do Frey and Carsey perform the roles of the protagonists, they also create many supporting characters, female as well as male. And while the play is full of archetypes, it manages to avoid clichés.

There are universal truths here and they are instantly recognized by the non-musicians in the audience as well as by those who can make a claim to personal experiences that are remarkably similar if not identical to the histories of the two men who wrote this show and (presumably) the two men who perform it in this production.

The play is driven by the serious works composed by the giants of classical music -- Bach, Beethoven and Mozart are prominent, as are Liszt, Chopin and Grieg -- and there are delightful side trips into the territory of the contemporary pop genre that spawned the likes of John Lennon, Elton John, and Billy Joel, among others.

This production is energetic and fast-paced, and there are recurring themes of, well, is the all-consuming devotion to music worth it in the end? Are the rewards worth the sacrifices?

The evidence presented in 2 Pianos 4 Hands suggests that while there may have been a few regrets, or at the very least some second-guessing, for Dykstra and Greenblatt the answers to those questions are: Yes, the rewards are worth the sacrifices -- and yes it's all worth it in the end.

2 Pianos 4 Hands is a charming and engaging piece that treats serious subject matter in a humorous way and tells its story with fine musicianship and strong acting. This production does justice to the original. It is highly recommended.