The Piano Lesson

Play Esq.
Broadway Star
joined:7/10/09
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 11/15/12 at 04:31pm
Seeing this tomorrow, and based upon Signatures' success with Wilson plays, I have high expectations for greatness. Any one have a chance to see this production yet?


henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 11/15/12 at 09:58pm
I am so looking forward to this. A great play from a great theater.
Roscoe
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 11/16/12 at 12:32pm
Saw it last night and was very impressed. A fine production of a fine play. Very moving and always very entertaining.

My one complaint is that one of the actors isn't operating at quite the same level of excellence that the others are, and since he's basically the lead, it is a real problem. Check it out and see what you think.
"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas Pynchon, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick My blog: http://www.roscoewrites.blogspot.com/
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 11/16/12 at 12:40pm
It's a superb production, well-directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and acted by a great ensemble cast. (Roscoe, if I'm thinking of the same actor as you--I agree to a point, but I didn't find it to be an overall detriment to the power of the production) Chuck Cooper's performance is nothing short of astonishing. Go see it. Signature really does theatre well.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
Roscoe
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 11/16/12 at 12:44pm
AC -- I bet we're thinking of the same actor. A problem, and the production rose above it, but I can't help thinking that the production would have so much more impact if someone of Jeffrey Wright's abilities had been cast in the role. The production packs a wallop as it is, but it could have been a real knockout.

Don't let my complaining deter anyone from seeing this. If you give a damn about that thing called theater as being anything other than dancing newsboys, you owe it to yourself to see this production.

And yes, Chuck Cooper is brilliant.
"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas Pynchon, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick My blog: http://www.roscoewrites.blogspot.com/
CAX
Featured Actor
joined:8/12/09
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 11/26/12 at 06:03pm
Not too much being said about this show. Is it a remarkable production? I want to see it, but haven't heard much (or any) word of mouth.
misto625
Broadway Star
joined:11/10/05
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 11/26/12 at 10:52pm
I saw this show at the beginning of the month, and I thought this production was magnificent, very powerful and haunting. I do have a small quibble with the casting in that the characters who were supposed to be a family didn't seem to really be related to each other in terms of looks/actions, and that was a little distracting to me.
Dean: Can I tell you something? Lorraine: That depends on what it is. Dean: I think you're really really pretty. Lorraine: (after a pause) Ok, you can tell me that.
CAX
Featured Actor
joined:8/12/09
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 11/27/12 at 12:05am
I'm intrigued. The older characters or the central siblings? I'm a fan of the play, read and have always heard Samuel L Jackson was amazing as Boy Willie in the original.
somethingwicked
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/05
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 11/27/12 at 12:44am
CAX, Samuel L. Jackson only understudied Boy Willie in the original production. Charles S. Dutton originated the role.
Tonya Pinkins: Then we had a "Lot's Wife" last June that was my personal favorite. I'm still trying to get them to let me sing it at some performance where we get to sing an excerpt that's gone.
Tony Kushner: You can sing it at my funeral.
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 11/27/12 at 08:59am
Jackson played Boy Willie in the first production at Yale. He also performed the role more than a few times during the original production, so it's plausible that Cax could be referring to people who saw him go on for Dutton, or who saw the Yale production.

Is it a remarkable production? I want to see it, but haven't heard much (or any) word of mouth.


It received unanimously rave reviews, and all of the (admittedly few) reports on here and on ATC have been positive. To me, it is one of the best things I've seen this year, and one of the essential tickets to be had presently in New York. So, it short, yes it's remarkable and worth seeing.



"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
Updated On: 11/27/12 at 08:59 AM
CAX
Featured Actor
joined:8/12/09
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 11/27/12 at 11:39am
Thank you. Yes, I was referring to the Yale production. It is my understanding that Dutton and Jackson shared parts on more than a few productions of Wilson's plays.
Sauja
Broadway Star
joined:1/7/07
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 11/27/12 at 12:11pm
I'm with AC (and the critics). Easily one of the best productions of the year. I was coming off a run of attending shows that were disappointing or downright bad, and this was such a welcome shot in the arm reminding me just how astonishing great theater can be.

I'm curious which actor Roscoe is saying wasn't at the same level as the other performers. I have one actor in mind who for me gave a very, very good performance that just happened to be surrounded by truly great ones.

All in all, a wonderful, beautiful, moving, thoughtful production. Not to be missed.
I started a blog! Cause I'm a nerd. http://100showsayear.blogspot.com/
misto625
Broadway Star
joined:11/10/05
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 11/27/12 at 08:12pm
I was referring to the central siblings being off in my post. They just didn't seem like brother and sister. Lyman and Boy Willie seemed to have more kinship.
Dean: Can I tell you something? Lorraine: That depends on what it is. Dean: I think you're really really pretty. Lorraine: (after a pause) Ok, you can tell me that.
CAX
Featured Actor
joined:8/12/09
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 11/27/12 at 10:50pm
Misto, that would make sense since the actors playing Lyman and Boy Willie are real life brothers. Not sure that's something that should register in the play.
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 11/30/12 at 12:12am
A transporting production of Wilson's greatest achievement. I see no weak links in the first rate cast. Cooper is extraordinary.

Updated On: 11/30/12 at 12:12 AM
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 1/9/13 at 11:30pm
I had the pleasure of seeing this tonight. I wasn't really expecting to love it, but I did. A great way to kick off my 2013 theatergoing year. I thought the performances were uniformly fantastic, particularly Chuck Cooper, James A. Williams, and Roslyn Ruff. I agree that Brandon J. Durden is the weakest member of the cast and is almost cartoonishly animated and over the top at times but he had his strong moments. I was quite moved by it and was totally entertained for the 3 hours it ran. It's a wonderful production and I'm really glad I got to see it before it closed. Absolutely worth trying to snag a ticket to before it closes in a week and a half.
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 1/10/13 at 10:08am
I want to see this so bad! I love Wilson, and this is one of my favorite plays. I'm kicking myself for having missed it.
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 1/10/13 at 11:49am
It's still playing through January 20, and there are still some tickets available. If you have the opportunity you should go down and try to snag a seat. It really is worth it.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
Visceral_Fella
Broadway Star
joined:1/18/12
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 1/10/13 at 12:15pm
I'm going to try and snag a ticket to this next week. Wish me luck!
macnyc
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/08
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 1/10/13 at 12:17pm
If you don't mind paying $75 a ticket, they are available. I love a discount as much as the next person, but I figure it's worth the price! I'm going next Saturday.
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 1/10/13 at 12:59pm
I got my ticket through TDF ($27) so keep checking there!
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 1/10/13 at 01:24pm
Even if you have to pay full price, it's worth it. (And $75 is cheap, comparatively--it's half what you'd pay to see a Broadway revival, and for my money, much higher quality than anything currently on the main stem)
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
Visceral_Fella
Broadway Star
joined:1/18/12
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 1/10/13 at 03:58pm
Wow, I haven't seen them on TDF at all. Thanks for the heads up! I'm not entirely opposed to paying full price, I just know some people in the cast and am exhausting all my options before doing so.
macnyc
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/08
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 1/10/13 at 04:38pm
I saw it on TDF only briefly, and I think it was for a Wednesday.
PTOPhan
Featured Actor
joined:6/5/12
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 1/10/13 at 05:55pm
I'm thrilled to hear how much everyone enjoyed Chuck Cooper's performance. Although I've never seen him in a production or met him, I went to high school with his wife, who is a playwright, herself. I've become a fan of his through that connection and look forward to seeing him in something, soon.
You alone can make my song take flight.
mikem
Broadway Legend
joined:8/5/04
The Piano Lesson
Posted: 1/10/13 at 06:22pm
They just released a discount code

PLTM60

for $60 tickets.
"What was the name of that cheese that I like?" "you can't run away forever...but there's nothing wrong with getting a good head start" "well I hope and I pray, that maybe someday, you'll walk in the room with my heart"

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