Press Release: Two Pianos Four Hands

 

MEDIA ALERT FOR THEATRE EDITORS AND REVIEWERS

AND CALENDAR LISTINGS

THE COLONY THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS
THE FIRST PRODUCTION OF THEIR 209-2010 - 35TH SEASON...

The Los Angeles Premiere of the Off-Broadway Smash Hit Musical Thriller ...

TWO PIANOS FOUR HANDS

by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt
Directed by Tom Frey 

Limited Engagement opens Saturday, June 20 at The Colony Theatre in Burbank!
 
"Sensational!" --  Chicago Sun-Times

"Hilarious!" -- Washington Post
"Enormously Enjoyable!" -- London Times

May 24, 2009 - Burbank... The Colony Theatre Company presents the first production of its historic 35th anniversary season, the musical sensation, 2 PIANOS 4 HANDS, written by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt and directed by Tom Frey. 2 PIANOS 4 HANDS will preview on Wednesday, June 17; Thursday, June 18 and Friday, June 19 at 8:00pm and will open on Saturday, June 20 at 8:00pm and continue through Sunday, July 26 at The Colony Theatre, 555 North Third Street (at Cypress) adjacent to the Burbank Town Center.

A play about 2 guys, 2 pianos, and 1 dream. As kids, Ted and Richard don't have much in common -- except for the shared desire to become classical pianists. But does either of them really have what it takes? 2 PIANOS 4 HANDS is a play with music that follows the dynamic and comical true journey of these boys into adulthood, their musical aspirations gleaming like the grand pianos that they play masterfully from start to finish. It's a major comedy in a minor key, with tunes ranging from Beethoven to boogie woogie, from Chopin to Chopsticks, from Schumann to Sinatra.             

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM

TED DYKSTRA (Co-Writer) has received Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations as an actor, director, writer, producer, and composer, and was awarded Doras for Fire (Acting and Musical Direction) and 2 Pianos 4 Hands (Producing) as well as a Chalmers Award for writing (2P4H). Co-writer of 2P4H, he has performed it in 11 Canadian cities (including 4 Toronto runs) as well as in New York, Washington DC, London's West End, and Tokyo, Japan. He has also directed productions of 2P4H across the US, as well as in Australia and Hong Kong. 

He has played leading roles on every major stage in Canada. Some of his favorite memories are the title roles in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hamlet, Amadeus, Cousin Kevin in The Who's Tommy (Dora nomination), Daffyd Llewellen in A Chorus of Disapproval (Dora Nomination), Bottom in Midsummer Night's Dream, and Ariel in The Tempest. He has acted in dozens of movies and television shows, and just received a Gemini Award for his performance in Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion.

He has composed music for theatres across the country. He is a founding member of Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre, where he has directed several productions in Toronto, including Leaving Home (Dora nomination), Under Milkwood, Salt Water Moon, Fool for Love, The Dumb Waiter, and The Beggar's Opera.

He has directed numerous other productions in Toronto including Frost/Nixon (Canadian Stage), Tuesdays with Morrie (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company), Cinderella (Elgin Theatre), The Rocky Horror Show (Canadian Stage/MTC), Aladdin (National Tour, Elgin Theatre, Toronto Dora nomination), Snow White and the Group of Seven (Elgin Theatre), Tequila Vampire Matinee (Dora Nomination), Science Fiction, Scott Thompson's Lowest Show on Earth, BULLY, and in recent years he has directed A Few Good Men, The Diary of Anne Frank, and To Kill a Mockingbird for the Neptune Theatre in Halifax. He wrote and directed Mordecai Richler: A Celebration for the CBC. Upcoming productions include Of the Fields Lately, and Billy Bishop Goes to War. Currently he is writing a musical commissioned by David Mirvish.

RICHARD GREENBLATT (Co-Writer) was born in Montreal and started taking piano lessons with Dorothy Morton at the age of seven.  He studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England. Since his return to Canada in 1975, he has been acting, directing, writing, and composing music for theatre, radio, television, and film across Canada and abroad.

He has played leading roles in regional theatres and Toronto. Favorite recent roles include Creon in Antigone, The Concierge in The Gladstone Variations, and Merv in The Sisters Rosenzweig. He has appeared in numerous feature films and on television. He has performed 2 Pianos 4 Hands with Ted Dykstra over 750 times, including 6 months Off-Broadway at The Promenade in New York City, ten weeks in the West End of London, a cross-Canada tour, three runs in Toronto, and three weeks in Tokyo.

He has directed over 100 productions for the stage, the vast majority being original works, and has been a co-writer on some of the most successful new plays in recent Canadian theatre history including The Theory of Relatives, i.d., Care, Letters from Lehrer, and Sibs, which was also made into a CBC movie. He has won many Dora and Chalmers Awards, as well as receiving numerous other nominations. He has taught acting, directing and play creation techniques - as well as directing numerous productions - at most of the theatre training institutions in Canada. He lives in Toronto.

TOM FREY (Director) began his association with 2 Pianos 4 Hands ten years ago, first playing the role of Richard on the American National Tour, subsequently performing the role over 200 times all over the United States and Canada in such venues as the Buffalo Studio Theatre in NY, Geva Theatre in Rochester, NY, the Ordway Theatre in MN, 1000 Islands Playhouse in Ontario, Canada, among others. He then switched to the role of Ted and tried that for another 250 performances in venues including the Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Hartford Stage in CT, Laguna Playhouse in CA, Dallas Theatre Center in TX, The Globe Theatre in Saskatchewan, Canada, and the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in MI. This will be his third production of 2 PIANOS 4 HANDS as director. Most recently, Tom was Music Director for Beehive at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter, FL. Other credits include multiple roles in Dirty Blonde at the Cleveland Playhouse and Pittsburgh Public Theatre, where he served as musical director; Souvenir with Semina DeLaurentis at 7 Angels Theatre in CT; The Woman In Black at Penguin Repertory in NY; Evelyn Oakleigh in Anything Goes; Billy Bishop in Billy Bishop Goes To War; and Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. His next gig will be at the famous Cape Playhouse in Cape Cod, MA, where he will be Music Director of Smokey Joe's Café. Tom studied piano at Western Michigan University and graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts Professional Actor Training Program.

ABOUT 2 PIANOS 4 HANDS -- A PRODUCTION HISTORY

In 1994, Ted and Richard formed Talking Fingers, and under this company name first workshopped 2 PIANOS 4 HANDS at the Tarragon Theatre, with generous support from the Ontario Arts Council.

Tarragon Theatre subsequently programmed the show as part of its 1995-1996 season, where it garnered rave reviews, played a sold-out run, received the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Production (Toronto's theatre awards) and the prestigious Chalmers Award (Canada's top playwriting award) and then toured the production nationally from May 1996 to September 1997.

In the fall of 1997, 2 PIANOS 4 HANDS was presented Off Broadway at The Promenade Theatre by a team of producers: David and Ed Mirvish, Ben Sprecher and William P. Miller. The production was widely acclaimed, and ran for six months before transferring to the Kennedy Center in Washington (both productions featured Dykstra and Greenblatt). 2 PIANOS 4 HANDS has since played to sold-out houses at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto and at the Comedy Theatre in the West End of London.

In the fall of 2003, Ted and Richard reunited to perform in the greatly anticipated Toronto revival at the majestic Elgin Theatre, again playing to sold-out houses and spectacular reviews. And in the spring of 2004, Ted and Richard toured to Tokyo, Japan where they played for three weeks at prestigious Le Theatre Ginza, presented by Japan's largest theatre company, Shochiku.

In 2006, Marquis Entertainment's production of 2 PIANOS 4 HANDS, featuring Richard Carsey and Tom Frey, was awarded the 2006 Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Touring Production (winning over Broadway touring productions of The Lion King and Wicked).

Since its humble Toronto premiere, 2 PIANOS 4 HANDS has had 5000+ performances at more 150 different theatres throughout North America, Europe, Asia (Japan and Hong Kong), Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa playing to more than 2 million people worldwide.

ABOUT THE CAST AND DESIGN TEAM

ROY ABRAMSOHN (Richard) Originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania (near Philadelphia), Roy is a graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music, where, for the last two years he spent there, he almost exclusively spent his time in the theater; much to the dismay of his piano teacher. Last February he hosted a Young People's Concert on Romantic Music with the New York Philharmonic in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, New York City, and also played the piano with the orchestra. He originated one of leads in the two-man, Pulitzer-nominated drama, Old Wicked Songs at the Walnut Street Theater, where he also played the dual role of Chico and Harpo Marx in Groucho: A Life in Revue. Groucho was taped live by NJN (New Jersey Public Television) at the historic Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut and has aired nationally on PBS.

His other stage credits include two years at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival in Ashland, Dirty Blonde at Portland Center Stage, the West Coast Premiere of Israel Horovitz's Lebensraum (Fountain Theater), Lewis and Clark Reach the Euphrates (Mark Taper Forum), Gunmetal Blues and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (San Jose Stage), Trumbo (with Joe Mantegna at the Falcon Theater), Taking Sides and A Chorus of Disapproval (Odyssey Theater).  Roy just did a long run of The Last Schwartz at the Zephyr Theatre and, most recently, played about 12 roles in Leaving Iowa at the Laguna Playhouse. He has appeared in numerous television commercials as well as guest starring roles on shows including "Strong Medicine," "Without a Trace," "American Dreams," "The Parkers," and "Medium." Roy has been in feature films including "The Dukes" (with Chazz Palminteri) and has a leading role in the campy, horror-flick sequel "Creepshow 3."

JEFFREY ROCKWELL (Ted) is delighted to be back at The Colony, where his performances behind and in front of the keyboard include Gunmetal Blues, Billy Bishop Goes to War, and The Musical of Musicals: The Musical! He also created the music and lyrics for their productions of Dandelion Wine and The Last Metro. As an actor, he most recently covered the role of the Grinch in the Old Globe's holiday perennial and played Emile in South Pacific for Sierra Repertory Theatre. For CLO of South Bay Cities, he played Fingers in Twice Upon A Time, and has otherwise run the gamut of leading-man roles in regional theatres from San Diego to Palm Beach. These include four El Gallos (The Fantasticks), three Sky Mastersons (Guys and Dolls), two Fredriks (A Little Night Music), two Quixotes (Man of La Mancha), two Julian Marshes (42nd Street), and single stabs at Stone (City of Angels), Beast (Beauty and the Beast), Frank Butler (Annie Get Your Gun), Higgins (My Fair Lady), Arthur (Camelot), and Ravenal (Show Boat).

2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS has assembled an award-winning design team. The Scenic Design is by Alex Calle.

The Lighting Design is by Jeremy Pivnick (Mary's Wedding, The Voice of the Prairie). The Sound Design is by Drew Dalzell (The Immigrant, and Grand Hotel, The Musical) and Sean Kozma. Prop Design is by Colony Theatre resident designers MacAndME.                               

ABOUT THE SCHEDULE AND PRICING

2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS will open on Saturday, June 20 and perform through Sunday, July 26, 2009. Performances for 2 PIANOS 4 HANDS are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. There will be additional performances on Saturday, June 27 and Saturday, July 11 & Thursday, July 16 and Thursday, July 23 at 8pm. There will be no performances over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.  Ticket prices range from $37.00 - $42.00 (student, senior and group discounts are available). Preview performances are Wednesday, June 17; Thursday, June 18 and Friday, June 19 at 8:00pm. Preview Tickets are $20.00 - $25.00. 

Opening night performance with reception - all tickets $50.00. There are question-and-answer talkbacks after the performances on Friday, June 26, and Thursday, July 16. For tickets, call the Colony Theatre Box Office at 818/558-7000 ext. 15 or online at www.colonytheatre.org.

For more information, press interviews, photos or for press comps, please contact David Elzer/DEMAND PR at 818/508-1754 or at ELZERD@aol.com or visit www.demandpr.com.

The award-winning Colony Theatre Company is Burbank's premiere professional theatre. It was voted "Best Live Theatre in L.A." in The Daily News 2006 Readers' Choice poll, and has been named one of "25 Notable U.S. Theatre Companies" by Encyclopedia Britannica Almanac for 6 years in a row. 

The Colony Theatre Company is a 35-year old organization dedicated to bringing the finest-quality theatrical productions to Los Angeles. The theatre is located at 555 North Third Street, at the corner of Cypress, in the heart of Downtown Burbank. For further information, call (818) 558-7000. Fax: (818) 558-7110. E-mail: colonytheatre@colonytheatre.org. Or visit our website at www.colonytheatre.org


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS CONTACT: David Elzer
818/508-1754