The Piano Teacher | Next Theatre Company | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Sundays and Mon., Nov. 8. Continues through Dec. 5 2010
Price: $25-$45
Old Mrs. K greets the Next Theatre audience with a sweet how-nice-to-see-you look, as if we were guests in her pleasant suburban home. She reminisces freely, telling us about discovering her ear for music, realizing that she'd never be a concert pianist, settling instead for a modest but happy 30-year career as the neighborhood piano teacher. She even serves us cookies. But as Julia Cho's 2007 play follows its 90-minute arc, Mrs. K's equanimity begins to crack. Having contacted some former students in a fit of nostalgia, she becomes aware that their memories are very different from hers--particularly when it comes to the late Mr. K. Mary Ann Thebus is well cast as the widow whose neat version of things gets turned inside out, and Lisa Portes's production is nicely paced. But the script is problematic. The audience-as-guests conceit ceases to make sense when the shit hits the fan, and Cho never finds a way to get us inside the traumatized students' heads. What this play needs is an omniscient narrator. Which is to say that the story might be better told in a novel. --Tony Adler

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