The OBIE winning hit music-theatre event that wowed audiences and critics alike in its sold-out run at the Ontological-Hysteric Incubator in March – is a theatrical explosion of Franz Schubert’s Winterreise song cycle. Filled with fantastical touches and inventive arrangements, Three Pianos is a colorful and imaginative evening of chaos that explores Schubert’s music, life, and times. Written, arranged, and performed by Rick Burkhardt (Nonsense Company), Alec Duffy (Hoi Polloi) and Dave Malloy (Banana Bag & Bodice), the play is set on a blustery winter night where three friends – each manning a piano – lead the audience through Schubert’s famous work .
Performing the song cycle while drinking and grappling with fundamental questions about the nature of music, the three pianists slip into a wild reenactment of a “Schubertiad”, a party based on those of Schubert and his friends, thus connecting them thru the centuries. An evening of hilarity and heartbreak ensues in which audience is invited to the party-aided by complimentary wine. Compositional mayhem, shifting rivalries, and some unfortunate butchery of the German language ensue.