Gershwin at the Piano | Theater | Indy Week
Pin It

Gershwin at the Piano 

Gershwin at the Piano isn't as memorable a theatrical endeavor as its prededecessor, the Art Tatum tribute Piano Starts Here. Forced to resort to a Plan B after another company cancelled its Sunday matinee, I crept into Raleigh Little Theatre 20 minutes into the performance and witnessed an urbane multimedia guided tour through a series of piano transcripts George Gershwin wrote and recorded of his own music. These were played first by a live pianist on a grand piano (Sunday afternoon, a cordial Phil Amalong), and then "re-performed" through Zenph's proprietary musical software and hardware, which reproduced the composer's original performance of the work in real time on the same piano.

The show's host, music scholar Milton Laufer, regaled us with anecdotes, briefly illuminating various high points in Gershwin's career. It wasn't enough to make the show a full biography, but it did serve to punctuate the songs.

Given the Jazz Age genius' predilection for embellishment and improvisation in his live performances, we might conclude that any back-and-forth trade between a live pianist limited to paper transcripts and their creator's mercurial variations might easily favor, as it were, the original cast. But Amalong more than held his own, breathing into works like "My One and Only" considerable expression, showmanship and taste. Recommended—particularly for fans of Gershwin and old-school jazz.

  • Recommended particularly for fans of Gershwin and old-school jazz, Gershwin at the Piano, plays through Oct. 2.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Theater



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

I'm not a theatergoer, so it was off my usual path to see this production. The small/ mighty cast approached …

by Aims Arches on A Superlative Adaptation of Virginia Woolf's Orlando Packs Centuries of Insight into a Fleet Eighty Minutes (Theater)

I personally am remarkably intrigued to see this production but since I can't drive myself to it I will sadly …

by Ryan Oliveira on David Harrower Lives Up to His Name in Blackbird, a Challenging Portrait of Abuse (Theater)

I wholeheartedly agree with the position that there should be more structured, civic support for the thriving arts community in …

by ShellByars on Common Ground Closed. Sonorous Road Might Be Next. Is It Curtains for Small, Affordable Theaters in the Triangle? (Theater)

Thank you to all the people who came to Common Ground to see our eclectic, experimental and ever changing theatre …

by RKlem on Common Ground Closed. Sonorous Road Might Be Next. Is It Curtains for Small, Affordable Theaters in the Triangle? (Theater)

Comments

I'm not a theatergoer, so it was off my usual path to see this production. The small/ mighty cast approached …

by Aims Arches on A Superlative Adaptation of Virginia Woolf's Orlando Packs Centuries of Insight into a Fleet Eighty Minutes (Theater)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation