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Review: 2 PIANOS 4 HANDS at Royal Alexandra Theatre

Review: 2 PIANOS 4 HANDS at Royal Alexandra Theatre

This hilarious musical romp is on stage until July 17, 2022

Richard Greenblatt and Ted Dykstra are two accomplished pianists who also happen to be pretty darn funny. Together they've created a musical comedic romp, 2 Pianos 4 Hands (2P4H) playing at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, an ode to their lifelong obsession with the 88 keys. If you've ever endured a music lesson as a child, the flashbacks experienced here are all too real.

Having any sort of musical background is certainly not required to appreciate 2P4H, but hearing the distant admonishments of my childhood piano teacher ringing through my head certainly added to the experience. The performance is comprised mostly of classical pieces played on dueting grand pianos - classics like Beethovan's "Sonatina No. 6 in F Major" and Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" before veering into more contemporary favorites like Billy Joel's "Piano Man". Littered throughout, Greenblatt and Dykstra take turns playing each other's piano teacher through varying stages of their lives.

That is where the charm lies in this performance as those flashback scenes are all too relatable. Even if you weren't voluntold into music lessons as a child, being placed in any extra curricular lesson at that age usually meant you wanted to do anything but that. Dykstra and Greenblatt have perfectly encapsulated those experiences within this performance - from arguing with parents to contradicting instructors, recital sweats and the awkwardness of switching styles. Not only are they a joy to watch behind the keys, especially as they would switch out playing without missing a single beat, but as comedians their timing and impressions are spot on. The audience thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

The projections by production designer Steve Lucas were another element of this show that were used to great effect. Whether it was used to indicate a change in scenery, like taking the dreaded exam at the Royal Conservatory, or portraying a Charlie Brown style nagging parent the projection use added an appreciated layer to the production.

For a musical trip down memory lane or just a hilarious night of music, 2 Pianos 4 Hands is a simply a delight.

Photo Credit: Cylla von Tiedemann




From This Author - Samantha Wu

Samantha is both a writer and a fan of the arts and has been able to find numerous ways to pair the two. Formerly an editor and writer at Mooney on Theatre, she also serves as a photojournalist for... (read more about this author)


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