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Last Chance

October 03, 2002|Don Shirley

Theater

2 Pianos, 4 Hands--At first, "2 Pianos, 4 Hands" looks like nothing more than a playful account of two boys who are learning to play the piano. Soon, however, the production resonates beyond the world of music. It explores the feelings that arise after the awful discovery that you're not going to make it in the career for which you've prepared for years. It appears that pianists Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt took up acting, and the theater, after concluding that they wouldn't be Horowitzes. Dykstra and Greenblatt--both Canadians--not only wrote "2 Pianos, 4 Hands," but they named the leading characters Ted and Richard, and first played the roles themselves. The authors aren't on stage at La Mirada Theatre, but their substitutes, Mark Anders as Ted and Carl J. Danielsen as Richard, bring ample conviction and polish--musical as well as dramatic--to the roles as they progress through their pianistic educations, from ages 8 to 18. Occasionally we see the two boys together--as wary rivals, as competitive duet performers and, finally, as friends in their 30s who still carry a torch for the piano, though they've moved on to other careers. Directed by Bruce J. Sevy, Anders and Danielsen adeptly whip through their sketches and a wide range of musical excerpts. They open and close with a more extended performance of the first movement of a Bach concerto.

Don Shirley

Ends Sunday at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada, (562) 944-9801.

*

Other shows closing this weekend:

Cobb--Lee Blessing's drama about controversial baseball legend Ty Cobb, directed by Joe Brancato and co-produced by Kevin Spacey and Bernie Morris, ends Sunday at the Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank, (818) 955-8101.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum--The Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities' production of the Stephen Sondheim-Burt Shevelove-Larry Gelbart musical romp ends Sunday at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach, (310) 372-4477.

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