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. More…
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.
“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
"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
"'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
"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 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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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!"
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
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
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.
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