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2 Pianos, 4 Hands equals one heck of a show

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By: Stuart Nulman – Montreal Times

The Centaur Theatre has capped off its 45th season on a highly entertaining musical note with “2 Pianos, 4 Hands”.

The semi-autobiographical show, written by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt, chronicles with sheer comic sense the 88-key agony of two piano geeks, as they try to master the piano through a series of practices, recitals and parental threats. Each of the vignettes scored every time with the audience, as the two piano prodigies (excellently played by Reza Jacobs and Bryce Kulak) try to outdo each other in musical talent, musical knowledge and pent up comedy. And extra kudos to Messrs. Jacobs and Kulak for their excellence as piano players, which strongly complements their superior acting skills, as they smoothly transition from one character to another to play out the intensive student-teacher, student-parent, and student-student relationships that are part of the piano geek’s world.

“2 Pianos, 4 Hands” is melodic madness on a grand scale, and continues the comic tradition of the piano that was exemplified by Victor Borge, Chico Marx, Schroeder from “Peanuts” and Laurel & Hardy (who schlepped a heavy piano up – and down – a steep outdoor staircase in the 1932 classic short “The Music Box”). This show is not to be missed, because based on the enthusiastic response from the audience at its opening night, it has the genesis of a sold out run at the Centaur (which runs from now until May 25). To buy your tickets, call 514-288-3161.

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About 240 people were “living la dolce vita” last Sunday (May 4), as the Miriam Foundation and the Unicorn Children’s Foundation held an Italian-theme fundraiser called “La Dolce Vita” at Luciani Infinti on Jean Talon in Cote des Neiges. Emceed by CBC TV personality Frank Cavallaro, the event raised over $55,000 to benefit people with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities, as well as help fund an e-learning platform that will give easy access to knowledge for support workers.

The guests were immediately immersed into an Italian atmosphere, as practically every square inch of the dealership transformed itself in anything and everything Italian, as they were serenaded by a trio performing traditional Italian songs, indulged in a large variety of Italian delicacies such as freshly cooked pasta, meatballs, seafood, cold cuts and baked goods, as well as a gelato bar, an espresso counter and some of the biggest biscotti cookies that I ever tasted. As well, there was a performance by the Gold Centre’s Glee Club (who also performed some traditional Italian tunes, such as “That’s Amore”), and a silent auction of some top drawer items, such as an autographed Andrei Markhov Habs jersey, hand crafted scotch whiskey, a pair of tickets to anywhere Air Canada flies in North America, and a weekend rental of an Infiniti Q50 automobile. To find out more about what the Miriam Foundation has to offer, check out their website at miriamfoundation.ca

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