Filled with Comedy and Incredible Piano Performances
TR Robertson -The popular comedy 2 Pianos 4 Hands, also filled with amazing piano performances, returns to North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach for a December run. The award-winning play, co-written by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt, premiered in 1996 at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, Canada. The play has had over 4,000 performances in 200 different theatres in Canada, the U.S., and around the world. It is estimated over 2 million people have seen the play.
The basic story line in the play, featuring Ted and Richard, is about the love-hate relationship these two had with the piano. 2 Pianos 4 Hands takes you through their early development with piano lessons from a variety of piano teachers, most of whom used different methods of instruction. The talented actors playing Ted and Richard are Jefferson McDonald as Ted and Matthew McGloin as Richard. They will also play their parents, the various piano teachers, and a variety of teachers at the different music schools and agencies they either attended or tried to attend.
Photos by Aaron Rumley
Jefferson and Matthew were not only accomplished piano players, but they were “spot on” as comedians and performers as they showed the frustration, difficulty, tenacity, humor and desire Ted and Richard went through from an early age to adulthood in learning classical music for the piano. They used an array of physical humor and different voices to go along with playing bits and pieces of 20 piano numbers culminating with an amazing performance, at the end of the play, of “Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052, 1st Movement” by Bach. Playing everything from classical to contemporary to pop, Matthew and Jefferson weaved their way through the two-hour performance with incredible timing. It is no wonder this play is so popular and David Ellenstein, NC Rep Artistic Director, wanted to bring this play back to NC Rep for the holiday season. The play has the audience laughing one minute and sitting in amazement at the accomplishment of the performers on the piano the next. Along with this, the banter going on between the student/teacher, parent/child struggles were memorable for many in the audience who had gone through similar situations. The performance skill with the piano knowledge testing scenes also had the audience shaking their heads in amazement.
Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt, co-creators, are award winning actors, directors, writers, and musicians. The director for the North Coast Repertory Theatre production is Tom Frey, the new artistic director of the Peterborough Players in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He is also the U.S. resident director of 2 Pianos 4 Hands and has directed over 20 productions throughout the country. Jefferson McDonald, playing Ted, is in his fourth production of the play. The award-winning actor has performed as Jerry Lee Lewis in twelve productions of Million Dollar Quartet. Matthew McGloin, playing Richard, has also previously performed in 2 Pianos 4 Hands. He has performed Off-Broadway and in numerous regional theatre productions.
The Design Team for the NC Rep play are Marty Burnett – Set Designer and Matthew Novotny – Lighting Designer.