This is a reprint of my remarks about ” 2 Pianos, 4 Hands ” at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater presented in their Stackner Cabaret during the 2019 – 2020 season. This originally appeared on my Facebook timeline September 9, 2019.
2 Pianos, 4 Hands…a few moments of Victor Borge and a snippet from Ferrante and Teicher plus your favorite classical piano bits and Piano Man…are all features of this opening play in the Milwaukee Repertory’s Stackner Cabaret! Always the cool thing with Stackner performances is the musical skills shown by the actors on top of incredible acting chops.
This piece features just two actors…Joe Kinosian as Ted and Ben Moss as Richard. And they play two aspiring world class classical pianists from age 10 to middle age. So they get to play from age appropriate dialogue and piano skills throughout and just simply nail it. From the physical competitive nature of 10 year olds through the cultural/musical competition of teen to young adulthood. Simply amazing on the face of it.
But there’s more to it than that…the two actors also get to play the various adults who help them achieve their goals or sometimes get in the way. So we see them play off each other as parents or teachers or contest judges. The range of characters and voices and sometimes accents that these actors achieve is simply amazing.
Just looking at the idea of the play, you are ready for plenty of humor. And boy oh boy there is plenty of laugh out loud humor. But I was also surprised at the angst and seriousness that also underlies their quests. So don’t be surprised if there is a tear to two a few moments after a pretty good laugh.
One question got asked in the play that I have always wondered about, having attended a fair number of youth music contests with my musician son…how does a judge keep their sanity when hearing 20 young people play the same piece…one after another…all day long? Yikes!!
Anyway, if you have ever participated in learning to play an instrument or guided a youngster in trying to master an instrument…this is a great play to see. And even not, if you appreciate piano music and coming of age drama/humor…well…have at it.
And don’t forget, after you order your tickets, make reservations and enjoy an absolutely great meal at the Stackner before the play. You won’t be sorry!!
P.S. If you don’t know who Victor Borge or Ferrante and Teicher are, Google them, you are going to love them!