Musicals with two-pianos orchestrations

LindaSmyth
Swing
joined:7/24/14
Hi everyone,

My community theater is trying to come up with a list of musicals we could do for our upcoming season (s). Last year we put on My Fair Lady and Title of the Show.Our budget is very limited, so we only use two pianos instead of a full orchestra. Can you think of any musicals with well-known two-pianos arrangements? I can't seem to find any proper list.
Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
Start with The Fantasticks.
Horton
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine

Oklahoma

madbrian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/06
The Most Happy Fella has been put on with two pianos.
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05

The 2 piano orchestrations were popular for community and school groups in the 1950s and 60s. If I were you I would call MTI, Rodgers and Hammerstein Licensing and Tams Witmark (who handle most of the shows from that time period) and ask what they have in their catalogs available in the 2 piano arrangement. They can tell you right away.

All the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals have 2 piano orchestrations available, and I think most of the Lerner and Lowe and Frank Loesser titles do as well.


Updated On: 7/24/14 at 08:39 PM
FireFingers
Stand-by
joined:11/16/10
My Fair Lady has a 2 piano orchestration as well I believe.
givesmevoice
Broadway Legend
joined:12/2/07
I Do! I Do! has a two-piano orchestration.
When I see the phrase "the ____ estate", I imagine a vast mansion in the country full of monocled men and high-collared women receiving letters about productions across the country and doing spit-takes at whatever they contain. -Kad
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
"Teeny Sweeney," the small cast intimate production of Sweeney Todd, famously used two keyboards only. It's been done many times since with a cast of eight and one or two keyboards.
Brian07663NJ
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
Barnum: Reed 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5: Violin: Cello: Bass: Trumpet 1,2 & 3: Trombone 1,2 & 3: Tuba: Drums: Percussion: Guitar: Stage Violin & Viola: Piano 1 & 2
Up next: Apr 01 Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Apr 05 Charo at RamsHead OnStage; Apr 07 Lady Gaga at Roseland Ballroom; Apr 13 Amaluna next to Citi Field; Apr 18 Disney Junior at MSG Theatre; May 06 Aladdin; May 13 Artpop Ball Lady Gaga at MSG; Jun 07 Varekai in Bridgeport, CT Jul 12 1:30pm Side Show; Jul 12 8:30pm Fantasia w/National Symphony Orchestra; Aug 16 The Visit: Williamstown Festival
mjohnson2
Broadway Star
joined:11/2/13
Most shows can be performed with one piano if you use the piano vocal score that they give you when you license the show. A lot of shows sound really great with it, and includes almost the entire orchestration written in piano.
Anything regarding shows stated by this account is an attempt to convey opinion and not fact.
Mr. Nowack
Broadway Star
joined:2/2/14
I don't know if it's still being liscenced or if it would work for you, but the duo piano arrangement of BEST FOOT FORWARD on the '60s revival recording is superb.

DAMES AT SEA was originally done with two pianos, in spite of the specially orchestrated recording.
I was previously known as Mr. Nowak (Joined: 5/20/13).
Scarywarhol
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/04
The Hangar Theatre did a two-piano Ragtime and, while the idea makes me want to cry a little, I understand it worked quite well. Huge cast size is often a plus for community theaters...
morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
DAMES AT SEA was originally done with two pianos, in spite of the specially orchestrated recording.

Same goes for the original LITTLE MARY SUNSHINE.
SNAFU
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/04
The Irish Rep put on Finian's Rainbow with two pianos a few years back and it was really quite good!
Those Blocked: SueStorm. N2N Nate. Good riddence to stupid! Rad-Z, shill begone!
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
As I've mentioned elsewhere, I did a highly successful, small-cast version of THE SOUND OF MUSIC with one piano. With only 4 nuns, it worked just fine.

***

HOWEVER, I'm really posting to congratulate your group on using live piano(s) rather than pre-recorded orchestral tracks. The latter are deadly to the momentum and timing of a musical.

I'd rather hear ANY musical done with just one piano than watch actors waiting for their cues on a pre-recorded track. (I saw a SWEENEY where the Beggar Woman sang HER ENTIRE PART off-key, not just slightly but often as much as a minor third from the correct pitch. A pianist would have played a line of the melody to help her find it, but instead we had to listen to a lifeless instrumental while she sang off-key.)
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
THE BOYFRIEND was originally done in London with 2 pianos. A small orchestra was added for Broadway, but it still can be done with just the 2 pianos (as heard on the original London cast recording.)