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‘2 Pianos 4 Hands’ makes for one great show

Acclaimed by critics and theatregoers alike, one of Canada’s most successful plays comes to Chemainus
Bryce Kulak (left) and Max Roll star in the upcoming production of ‘2 Pianos 4 Hands’ at the Chemainus Theatre Festival, running April 6 to May 14. (submitted)

Acclaimed by critics and theatregoers alike, one of the most successful plays in Canadian history is coming to the Chemainus Theatre Festival and it’s not to be missed.

2 Pianos 4 Hands has sold out houses across the country and beyond, amassing a staggering 4,000 performances in 200 different theatres across five continents since it broke onto the scene at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre in 1996.

Dubbed by the CBC as “Simple, charming, funny, brilliant” folks can expect a story of childhood dreams and life lessons.

Written by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt, who back in the day also played the lead roles, the play is semi-autobiographical and about two gifted boys who pine for concert pianist stardom.

“As years of sacrifice and learning the art of playing the piano unfold on stage, Ted and Richard come to the sobering realization that becoming the next Glenn Gould or Vladimir Horowitz may be beyond their reach,” according to a media release issued by the Chemainus Theatre’s Michelle Vogelgesang.

“It’s a story of childhood dreams, parents’ yearning for their children’s success, and a few life lessons along the way,” said the release.

Catchy tunes from days gone by, including “Chariots of Fire”, “Great Balls of Fire”, “Piano Man” and the theme to Mr. Dress Up will have patrons tapping their toes from the gallery as the production unfolds before them.

Finding actors to fill the roles can be difficult, according to director Greenblatt.

But he’s found two that will more than fit the bill.

Bryce Kulak and Max Roll have been cast at Ted and Richard this time around and Greenblatt is excited to direct such professionals.

“You have to find charismatic performers who can play concert level classical compositions, pop pieces, as well as sing and act portraying over 20 different characters with sharp comedic timing and heart-felt emotion,” Greenblatt noted.

“In Bryce Kulak and Max Roll, there’s a tremendous amount of talent in all areas. It’s fantastic to see them on stage together. The energy is incredible.”

Greenblatt, who is returning as director after some time away, said he was looking forward to opening the show in Chemainus with the duo.

2 Pianos 4 Hands runs April 6 to May 14.

Tickets are available in person at the Chemainus Theatre Festival box office, by visiting or by calling 250-246-982.

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
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