Feb. 9 2011 10:35 AM

Two Pianos, Four Hands and the rest of this week's theater listings

Two Pianos, Four Hands
I'll bet Two Pianos, Four Hands appeals mostly to those who've taken lessons or are otherwise savvy about the trade—the night I saw North Coast Repertory Theatre's current send-up of classical pianism, some of the laughs carried a certain “wink,” as if that part of the audience was in on the joke before everybody else. Even if you're pianistically illiterate, you'll find something to like here as two Canadian actors spoof everything from the drudgery of practice to dictatorial music school directors. Ted (Mark Anders) and Richard (Carl Danielsen) play several characters along the way, their lampoons colored by everything from Bach to a few soap-opera themes. Every so often, that's a problem; the music tends to get in the way of itself, as if the duo is a tad too eager to move on to the next bit. The show could probably use just two or three central characters to keep the reference points to a minimum—but these guys are excellent pianists, and their physicality gives director Bruce Sevy a lot to work with. The fun's infectious, too, as the show's toured more than 150 cities worldwide since 1996 and is regarded as one of Canada's most successful plays.

Through Feb. 13 at North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987-D Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach. $32- $37. northcoastrep.org


Superior Donuts: Franco convinces Arthur to hire him so he can transform Arthur's doughnut stop into an upscale coffeehouse with live music and poetry slams. Produced by San Diego Repertory Theatre, it's in previews now and opens Feb. 11 at The Lyceum Space, Downtown. $35- $47. sdrep.org

Steel Magnolias: Truvy Jones' hair salon is a cultural center of Chinquapin, La.—a place where three generations of women can laugh, cry and celebrate together. Produced by Lamb's Players Theatre, it's in previews now and opens Feb. 11 at the Ione and Paul Harter Stage in Coronado. $28-$58. lambsplayers.org

The MENding Monologues: Men discuss their experiences with women and those encounters' effects on their personal growth. Produced by InnerMission Productions, it runs Feb. 9 and 12 at Diversionary Theatre in University Heights. $20 door, $21 online. innermissionproductions.org

A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer: Essays by several celebrities detail the effect of male violence on their lives. Produced by InnerMission Productions, it runs Feb. 10 and 12 at Diversionary Theatre in University Heights. $20 door, $21 online. innermissionproductions.org

The Vagina Monologues: Women discuss the nature of their sexual experiences and the violence that often accompanied them. Produced by InnerMission Productions, it runs Feb. 11 and 13 at Diversionary Theatre in University Heights. $20 door, $21 online. innermissionoproductions.org

Now playing

* Wonder Wounded Heroes: Dangerous skirmishes and Shakespeare mix as siblings face off over a mysterious past. Produced by Ion Theatre Company, it runs through Feb. 19 at BLK BOX @ 6th & Penn in Hillcrest. $10-$25. iontheatre.com

The Tragedy of the Commons: The view from Dakin Adams' La Jolla home (and a friendship) is in jeopardy amid new construction. Through Feb. 20 at Old Town Theatre in Old Town. $24-$49. cygnettheatre.com Shotgun

Wedding Anniversary: What happens after 25 years in a less-than-blissful marriage? For Basil and Petals, it can mean murder. Through Feb. 26 at Mystery Cafe, in the Imperial House restaurant in Bankers Hill. $59.50, including dinner. mysterycafe.net

Death of a Salesman: Salesman Willy Loman promises his clients the moon but never delivers the same in his private life. Through Feb. 27 at The Old Globe Theatre's Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre in Balboa Park. $29-$67. oldglobe.org

* miXtape: Generation X was torn between disillusionment and hope in this cavalcade of music from the 1980s. Produced by Lamb's Players Theatre, it runs through Feb. 27 at the Horton Grand Theatre Downtown. $28-$58. lambsplayers.org

Big Daddy is Here, A Play with Music: This piece is a nod to Muddy Waters, “Ma” Rainey and many other black artists who've prominently figured into the evolution of rock 'n' roll and rhythm and blues. Through March 6 at Community Actors Theatre in City Heights. $12-$14. communityactorstheatre.com

* Jane Austen's Emma—a Musical Romantic Comedy: A beautiful and clever young woman who prides herself on her matchmaking is clueless to her own feelings of love. Through March 6 at The Old Globe Theatre mainstage in Balboa Park. $39-$94. oldglobe.org

Leading Ladies: Leo falls in love with a dowager's niece after a series of costume changes and mistaken identities. Through March 6 at Coronado Playhouse in Coronado. $12.50-$25. coronadoplayhouse.com


See all events on Monday, Dec 5