Watching 2 Pianos 4 Hands at the Panasonic Theatre in Toronto last night made me wish I hadn't given up playing piano as a teenager. For anyone with even the smallest background in playing a musical instrument, the show will bring up memories of all those hours spent practicing when all you really wanted to do was anything but. It isn't until a bit later in life that some of us realize that practice and hard work really do pay off in the long run. The show is full of hilarious anecdotal scenes about piano tutors and lessons and it features some great piano playing by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt.
The scenes between father and son were particularly poignant for me. My dad, a well-known sax player in Liverpool in the 60s, was an acquaintance and contemporary of The Beatles during the Merseybeat years. (My parents actually met at The Cavern Club!) Dad gave up touring and playing in nightclubs and got a "real job" when he married mum and had us two kids. While he still dabbled professionally throughout the years and continues playing gigs now at the age of 70, I sometimes wonder what his life would have been like had he decided to follow that dream of "making it big". I guess when he would force me to play piano despite all my complaining and objections, he was thinking that maybe one day I would regret not following a creative path in life. Perhaps father does know best.
Life has been pretty good thus far but I quite often feel that the dream hasn't been realized. Then again, once it is, where is there left to go?
2 Pianos 4 Hands has been extended until December 4th at the Panasonic Theatre.
For tickets, visit mirvish.com