2 Pianos 4 Hands
by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt
Roy Abramsohn and Jeffrey Rockwell
2 PIANOS 4 HANDS
Concerto in D minor, 1st
Prelude in D flat Major
2 Pianos 4 Hands Production History
“Our greatest fear is that classical musicians will say, ‘Well, for actors, they’re pretty good piano players.’ And that actors will say, ‘For piano players, they’re pretty fair actors.’ ”
-- Ted Dykstra, March 28, 1996
That is a pre-opening night jitter expressed by one half of the creative force behind 2 Pianos 4 Hands. Little did he realize that after April 2, 1996, 2 Pianos 4 Hands would become one of Canada's most successful theatre productions ever, being produced in over 150 cities on five continents in its first twelve years alone.
Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt quickly became recognized as great actors AND great piano players.
In 1993, both Ted and Richard were appearing in Chamber Concerts Canada's So You Think You're Mozart and after comparing stories about their piano lesson days, the two former would-be prodigies were encouraged by Tarragon Theatre's Associate Artististic Director Andy McKim to put their early piano experiences on paper.
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 and the prestigious Chalmers Award (Canada’s National Awards for the Year’s Best Plays). Tarragon Theatre 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 Williame P. Miller. The production was widely acclaimed, and ran for 6 months before transferring to the Kennedy Center in Washington.
2 Pianos 4 Hands returned to Toronto in July of 1998 for a 3-month run produced by Mirvish Productions at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, and then in 1999 opened at the Comedy Theatre in the West End of Lodon (both productions featuring Ted and Richard).
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 the elegant Le Theatre Ginza, presented by one of Japan's largest theatre companies, Shochiku Co. Ltd.
Since its humble Toronto premiere in 1996, 2 Pianos 4 Hands has been staged for 5000+ performances by more than 10 different teams of actors in nearly 150 productions throughout North America, Europe, Asia (Japan and Hong Kong), Australia, New Zealand and South Africa playing to approximately 2 million people worldwide.
...and to this date, 2 Pianos 4 Hands is still receiving requests from theatres around the world about how they too can host one of Canada's most loved plays.
Brad Brown, Robert E. Price
Tuning, Colin Rivers & Marquis Entertainment,