Three Pianos OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • TM

  • NJ NEWSROOM

  • BACKSTAGE

  • NY THEATRE

Opening Night:
December 7, 2010
Closing:
January 9, 2011

Theater: NY Theatre Workshop / 79 East 4th Street, New York, NY, 10003

Synopsis: 

The OBIE winning hit music-theatre event that wowed audiences and critics alike in its sold-out run at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater in March - is a theatrical explosion of Franz Schubert's Winterreise song cycle. Filled with fantastical touches and inventive arrangements, Three Pianos is a colorful and imaginative evening of chaos that explores Schubert's music, life, and times. Written, arranged, and performed by Rick Burkhardt (Nonsense Company), Alec Duffy (Hoi Polloi) and Dave Malloy (Banana Bag & Bodice), the play is set on a blustery winter night where three friends - each manning a piano - lead the audience through Schubert's famous work. Performing the song cycle while drinking and grappling with fundamental questions about the nature of music, the three pianists slip into a wild reenactment of a "Schubertiad", a party based on those of Schubert and his friends, thus connecting them thru the centuries. An evening of hilarity and heartbreak ensues in which audience is invited to the party-aided by complimentary wine. Compositional mayhem, shifting rivalries, and some unfortunate butchery of the German language ensue.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Three Pianos

    A Few Instruments Go a Long Way

    Neil Genzlinger

    December 20, 2010: Perhaps your house, like many, has an upright piano in it that doesn’t get a lot of use anymore — the children are grown and gone, or the ol’ hands have a touch of arthritis, or no one ever really learned to play the danged thing in the first place. And perhaps you’re moderately annoyed every time you look across the room and see the inactive beast — essentially, a 700-pound, $3,000 picture-frame holder.

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  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF Three Pianos

    Three Pianos

    Andy Propst

    December 20, 2010: Metatheatrics collide with schoolboy humor and classical music in the Obie Award-winning Three Pianos, now playing at New York Theatre Workshop. Written and performed by Rick Burkhardt, Alec Duffy, and Dave Malloy, the show is an ambitious mash-up, and can be, by turns, touching and illuminating. But at two-plus intermissionless hours, it also feels overextended, despite the trio's impressive musicianship, a truly gorgeous physical production that's been guided by Rachel Chavkin, and the free wine that flows copiously throughout the audience.

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  • NEW JERSEY NEWSROOM REVIEW OF Three Pianos

    ‘Three Pianos’ celebrates Schubert

    Michael Sommers

    December 19, 2010: A heady brew of party animal antics and classical music, "Three Pianos" offers a strangely lovely study of composer Franz Schubert and his "Winterreise" cycle of 24 songs. Created and vividly performed by musician-actors Rick Burkhardt, Alec Duffy and Dave Malloy, "Three Pianos" may well annoy purists drawn to New York Theatre Workshop, where the show opened Sunday.

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF Three Pianos

    Three Pianos

    David Sheward

    December 19, 2010: The wine flows freely at New York Theatre Workshop during "Three Pianos," a freeform riff on "Winterreise," Franz Schubert's 24-song cycle, as performed, written, and arranged by a trio of actor-musicians. As you enter the theater, you're handed a plastic cup, and complimentary vino is available in the aisles. The performers stop the show more than once for a "wine check" to ascertain if anyone needs a refill. One lucky audience member is even invited to do a shot of tequila, complete with salt and lime.

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  • NY THEATRE REVIEW OF Three Pianos

    Three Pianos

    Martin Denton

    December 18, 2010: The three men who wrote, arranged, and perform Three Pianos are indubitably indie theater all-stars. Rick Burkhardt is part of The Nonsense Company, whose NYC debut a couple of years ago—Great Hymn of Thanksgiving / Conversation Storm—revealed him to be an astonishingly skillful musician, playwright, performer, and thinker. Playwright/director Alec Duffy's insightful The Top Ten People of the Millennium Sing Their Favorite Schubert Lieder, among other works, presages many of the themes of this piece. Dave Malloy—self-described "music guy" for the anarchic theatre troupe Banana Bag & Bodice—is a creator, performer, and purveyor of work that challenges norms and expectations.

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