- Support us
- Contact us
In the News
At a Valentine’s Day party several years ago, three friends — Rick Burkhardt, Alec Duff, and Dave Malloy — discovered a shared love for Austrian composer Franz Schubert’s song cycle “Winterreise.” As they played the music, drank and debated, an idea was born: to create a theater piece that incorporates Schubert’s music. The result is “Three Pianos,” and it takes place both in Schubert’s time and today, at an all-night party where pianos are not only played but used as props– they’re sat on, spun in circles, used as a bar and a bed. Even the audience gets to drink wine and take part. The Village Voice describes the show as “like being cozily tucked away with a clutch of nerdy music-loving friends.” “Three Pianos” won an Obie in New York and is currently playing at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge Massachusetts. Here & Now‘s Robin Young met with all three performers there. They told her that the show is a recreation of something called a “Schubertiad,” a type of party that Schubert held with poets and composers where they would make art.
Three Pianos at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge is a loving tribute to Franz Schubert (1797-1828) and his romantic song cycle Winterreise
Not knowing all that much about Schubert I came away informed and curious, which may be what his emphatic cheerleaders want us to be. And, hey, if they want to turn Schubert into a household name, perhaps they should convince Lady Gaga to do a few dance remixes.
In the same spirit as that of the Muppets, the iconic puppets created by Jim Henson whose mayhem and mischief speak to children and adults, “The Snow Queen,” complete with its own set of enchanted puppets, engages audiences of any age with a clever and elegantly reimagined version of the classic fairy tale by Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen. The new stage adaptation is the work of a group of students from the A.R.T. Institute, a two-year, graduate training program for aspiring actors and dramaturges. Institute student Tyler J. Monroe adapted the story for the stage.
The Harvard Gazette: "A show fit for royalty: A.R.T. presents revamped ‘Snow Queen’ for the holidays" (December 15, 2011)
Three guys. Not singers, but they sing. Not pianists, but they play the piano. Three pianos. Actors whose love of music doesn't seem like acting. They're in Three Pianos, a theater piece — hard to call it a play — that's just begun a run at the A.R.T. (through January 8). In New York, it won an Obie. Here, it won my heart.
In the beguiling production that is now at American Repertory Theater under the direction of Rachel Chavkin, a spirit of whimsy prevails for much of the evening, with plenty of wisecracks and slapstick elements. But when the mood turns stormy or elegiac, and when “Three Pianos’’ touches deep chords of longing or solitude, it is with the understanding that nothing can pull you through a dark night of the soul like music.
Unlike prime time fairy-tale-with-a-twist hits “Once Upon A Time” and “Grimm,” American Repertory Theater’s newest play, “The Snow Queen,” is a throwback to simpler storytelling.
This evening makes no claims to be anything other than what it is: a great party by and with three actor/musicians united in their love—or should I say passion—for the music of Franz Schubert.