2 Pianos 4 Hands hits the right notes

Review by Casey Lessard

It’s a good thing 2 Pianos 4 Hands is running most of the summer at Huron Country Playhouse II – it’s good enough that there should be no empty seats all summer. The comedic musical (versus a musical comedy) centres around two pianists and their careers starting from their first lessons to the moments they have to decide whether they will make a career out of classical music.
Jonathan Monro has been portraying Ted Dykstra “on and off for 11 years”, while Patrick Burwell takes his first swing at the role of Richard Greenblatt. Dykstra and Greenblatt wrote the play; Greenblatt directs the Playhouse staging.
“It’s really hard to cast this show,” Monro says, “and once they have people they don’t really like to find new ones for a long time. The first thing I did was the U.S. tour and we went everywhere for that.”
“One of the challenges is that you have to play and act and do physical comedy at the same time,” Burwell says. “Jonathan has been a big help.”
In the play, the two characters dream of playing Carnegie Hall one day, but Monro actually did as a teenager.
“I started out as a classical pianist; that was my career path. Then so many things happen to block the way of that occurring. This show showed me there’s life after the death of my career as a pianist.”
And that life, ironically for Monro, has included 11 years of portraying a pianist. His practice has paid off; a must-see for music lovers and anyone who had to endure any kind of lessons or coaching as a child.
2 Pianos 4 Hands runs through August 29. For tickets: 519-238-6000 or visit http://www.huroncountryplayhouse.com.