Two Pianos, Four Hands

  April 10, 2021  

April 10th marks the 25th Anniversary of the world premiere of Two Pianos, Four Hands (2P4H). The show by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt began at the Tarragon Theatre in 1996 and has gone on to become the most produced play in Canadian theatre history. Mirvish presented 2P4H in Toronto three times, in 1998, 2003 and 2001, each time to sold-out houses. Mirvish also presented the show off Broadway in New York and in London’s West End.

Nearly two million people have seen the play, with more than 4,000 performances at 200 different theatres throughout Canada, US, UK, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa, Austria, Finland and beyond. 

To celebrate the anniversary, we asked Ted and Richard to reflect back on the life of their show.

"The process is the reward,” Ted said. “It has worked well for me over a long and continuing career. Thus I never expect or want anything more than to just create theatre, anything else that comes of it is icing on the cake. 2P4H remains the greatest icing I've ever enjoyed and I'm very grateful for that.”

Richard said, “One can never predict what will speak strongly to an audience or any individual in it. We created this story — based on our own experiences — with as much specificity and authenticity as we could muster. The fact that it has been and remains so successful and relevant is a testament to the serendipitously fickle nature of art in general, and theatre in particular. It is humbling and deeply gratifying.”

Beatrice Campbell, the show’s stage manager from the very first performance, said: “2P4H is one of the greatest gifts in my career as a Stage Manager.  It was a pleasure, and honour, to take care of Richard and Ted, and their wonderful show.  They are absolutely two of the best in my books.  Of the thousand-plus times I watched the show, never once did I not laugh or feel moved by it. I miss it.”

In honour of the 25th anniversary, the live capture film of the final performance Ted and Richard gave (in 2013 at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre) will premiere on the streaming service, Broadway HD, on April 13th. If you’ve never seen this landmark play or you want to revisit it, this is your opportunity to do so.

Want to know more about 2P4H and its place in theatre history? Don’t miss the next issue of Meanwhile on April 20th. Lisa and Steffi of Check In From Away will speak with Ted, Richard and Bea. They will share stories about their 25-year journey.

For more information about 2P4H visit the show’s global website.