In 1997, during the Off Broadway run of 2 Pianos, 4 Hands at the Promenade Theatre in New York, actor David Hyde Pierce appeared on the Rosie O'Donnell Show and gave it a rave review. One couldn't help wonder if in the back of his mind he wasn't constructing a project for himself and Kelsey Grammer. After all, Fraser can't run forever, the two of them are both piano players and why not play out the popular duo in another format some day?
2P4H is just that kind of vehicle. A contrivance made up by two Torontonians who are both very fine actors as well as very fine pianists. Perhaps not great in either category -- but then how many among us really achieves greatness in this life? And therein lies the central conceit of the play.
In the current issue of American Theatre magazine, 2P4H is listed ninth in the season's Top 10 list of most produced plays in the U.S. this year with 6 upcoming productions (another Canadian playwright, Michael Healey's Drawer Boy is number one with an impressive 16 productions). Both plays had their reputations enhanced by being picked up in the Mirvish season and remounted in major venues after successful runs in smaller theatres.
Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt continue to have great fun with their play that has taken them on a remarkable journey since its inception as a 25 minute fundraiser for the Tarragon Theatre Spring Arts Fair in 1994. It was there that Tarragon's associate director, Andy McKim, stroked his chin and said: "hmmmmmm". The rest is history.
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