In the performance history of 2 Pianos 4 Hands, about to start at Stages Repertory Theatre, only 22 actors have ever played either of the two parts, according to actor/director Tom Frey. That’s because to be in this play — and it’s a play, not a musical — you have to be able to play classical music ''extremely well,'' Frey says. ''The play is bracketed by the Bach D Minor Concerto,'' says Frey. In between, he and Jeffrey Rockwell tell the story of two aspiring classical pianists, Ted and Richard, who have to come to terms with the fact that though they are very good, they are not the greatest. They play off (groan) the other two characters in the play — the two pianos — as they go through the years as not only the four-year-old version of themselves but their piano teachers, parents and fellow geeks.
One of the most produced plays ever in Canada, 2 Pianos 4 Hands won the 1996 Dora Award for Outstanding Production in Toronto. The show, which runs about two hours, is very funny, Rockwell promises, and consists of a set of two pianos and no costume changes. Frey, who has been doing the show off and on for 12 years and has played both parts, expects to clock in his 750th performance during the Houston run.
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