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About Clarence & Me (Dream Up)

Members say: Great acting, Entertaining, Enchanting, Resonant, Slow
80
Critics
84
4 reviews
Members
79
17 reviews
 

Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival: This world premiere drama explores the relationship between an older African-American piano student and his younger Caucasian piano teacher.

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After a chance meeting between television scribe Walter Jones and writer/composer Scott Hiltzik, the idea for 'About Clarence and Me' was born. Sitting next to each other on a five-hour bus ride from New York City to Boston in 2003, the two writers discovered they had many shared interests. Coltrane, classical piano music, and theater were discussed; ideas were thrown back and forth; and personal stories were shared. By the time the Greyhound arrived at South Station, the story was set and their collaboration underway. Through a poignant narrative and a rich assortment of original piano music, 'About Clarence and Me' explores the commonality of the human experience.

 

Cast & Creatives (6)


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Reviews (21)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
84
Avg Score

80
BlogCritics.org

"With a sensitive script by director Walter Jones and composer Scott Hiltzik, the actors stay true to the melody. The result is a touching tribute to the power of both art and friendship across generations and cultural boundaries. Yes, it’s sentimental, and rather predictable...But DeMone easily transcends what could have been a boisterous and gravel-voiced stereotype to steer an able Roll and a willing audience safely around the dangerous curves." Full Review

80
What's On Off Broadway

"'About Clarence & Me' is a hopeful and light show about reaching across barriers that divide us in order to make connections...Full of original as well as familiar music, 'About Clarence & Me' is a feast for piano music lovers...The spoken dialog flows less easily than the music...But that is a minor complaint in the scale of the show...'About Clarence & Me' is as breezy and lovely a jazz piece." Full Review

95
TheaterScene.net

“Performed as a part of Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival, the gritty backdrop of New City’s Community Theater is a fitting backdrop for the racial and generational issues explored therein. Supported by the excellent performances from the show’s co-protagonists, ‘About Clarence and Me’ is an impressive and creative outing from Hiltzik and Jones that should certainly make its way back to New York City following the conclusion of the Dream Up Festival.” Full Review

80
The Arts Fuse

"The play keeps banging away at sentiment, taking us to a place that we knew (or would that be feared?) it was going. The last fifteen minutes of the script are not only unnecessary, but undercut the piece’s earlier emotional power. Yet 'About Clarence and Me' is still a treat. It takes on a number of current issues, the struggles among the races to communicate, the discarding of the elderly, and the price paid for neglecting love." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
79
Avg Score

70
Great acting, Slow, Entertaining

See it if You like well acted two character pieces involving jazz & those who love it.

Don't see it if You want to see a full story unfold, as the piece never realizes its potential & sputters some in the second half

100
Enchanting, Great acting, Refreshing, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you love live piano music and how it brings people together. If you want to see an actor succeed in playing it BIG -and terrific chemistry!

Don't see it if you don't like the conflicts between older/younger, black/white. Or if you have no music appreciation.

70
Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Relevant, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if you like-music theory/appreciation-odd couple type comedies-dramas about ageing-minimal set design-two person plays-classical/jazz music

Don't see it if you want-a complex plot (this is a straightforward story of two conflicting personalities bonding through music)-character development

73
Cliched, Slow, Entertaining, Great singing, Fluffy

See it if you want an eclectic evening...a play with music. The story is predictable but not bad. Acting is OK but singing and piano are great.

Don't see it if you're looking for something new and original. None of it quite works. I wanted to yell at the stage "I don't believe you!"

86
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy great acting and a charming story. It completely won me over.

Don't see it if you don't like well-written dramas. Very interesting characters.

76
Absorbing, Enchanting, Slow, Moving, Sweet

See it if You enjoy relationship-driven plots with strong characters; generational insights; relatable situations about personal growth, love and loss

Don't see it if You want a big production or a fast paced story arc

85
Absorbing, Ambitious, Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if If you enjoyed I'm Not Rappaport years ago you will certainly enjoy this show, if you lived thru the 60's you will enjoy the show and venue

Don't see it if I really can't imagine anyone not liking the show, not raving over it, yes, the acting by "Sam" was a little weak but Clarence overcame that

87
Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Great writing, Great singing

See it if you would like a touching story about the relationship of two grown men through the connection of music.

Don't see it if you want to see a face paced, action packed show. It's a great story but a little slow at moments.

80
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if If you want to be entertained by great acting and watch a great friendship between two unlikely people.

Don't see it if If you are closed minded and don't like to laugh. Or like original music.

75
Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining, Unpolished

See it if You are interested in how relationships develop over time. The character of the older gentleman was delightfully acted.

Don't see it if You are looking for a completely polished piece. It is getting there. The music is great. I wished the piano teacher character developed.

85
Enchanting, Resonant

See it if you like a touching story of an unlikely friendship develop over a wide ranging piano score. Also, there are no bad seats in the theatre.

Don't see it if You want something fast paced with lots of action. There's minimal staging but it works

95
Funny, Enchanting, Great acting, Must see, Entertaining

See it if To see how the relationship develops between both characters, one young white man and an older black man

Don't see it if You don't accept other people's differences

73
Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Sweet

See it if like intergenerational discussions and sharing of emotional experiences.

Don't see it if you are looking for a complex story or deep insights into racial issues.

92
Poignant, Great acting, Relevant, Bittersweet

See it if You want to see two actors give beautiful and convincing performances, you want to feel like you are peering in a window on real life.

Don't see it if You want a happy escape from reality, or fast-pacing.

50
Relevant, Resonant, Indulgent, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if you're looking for light, simple entertainment that just touches on the themes included in the summary of the show.

Don't see it if you're craving a deep dive into race relations or jazz music as the story promised to be.

Also Although this show wasn't as moving as I had expected, I do appreciate... Read more Read less

65
Great acting, Resonant, Confusing, Slow

See it if You're looking for a complete play going experience.

Don't see it if You don't mind watching work in its early stages with potential for further development down the road.

73
Absorbing, Ambitious, Enchanting, Exquisite, Cliched

See it if You want to

Don't see it if You don't want to