The Piano Men

Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Piano Men is a musical tribute by Jackie Cunniffe, Wendy Watson and cast.

Though similar in concept, this South African production is not to be confused with a similarly conceived and titled show created and performed in the USA between 2017 and 2019, or the range of specific tributes entitled inter alia The Piano Men: A Tribute to Elton John & Billy Joel (created by in early 2015 by pianists, Micah Snow and Chris Smallwood), Piano Men: The music of Elton and Billy (a chamber concert by Chris Eastburn and Joe Boucher, 2019), and so on - all probably deriving their concept and title from the 2009 album of the same name featuring Elton John and Billy Joel themselves.

The original text

Originally conceived and produced Jackie Cunniffe, the text was written by Wendy Watson and the first production in 1994 was directed by Kenlynn Ashby. In the show, three singers take turns at a grand piano, to provide a showcase of piano-based chart-toppers, ranging from songs by Nat King Cole, George Gershwin and Fats Waller to contemporary pop artists such as Freddie Mercury, Billy Joel, Bruce Hornsby & the Range, Elton John, Paul McCartney and Phil Collins.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1994: Staged at the Billboard Dinner Theatre in Durban, going on to performances in Pietermaritzburg, the Grahamstown Festival and in Stellenbosch.

2000: Restaged by Jackie Cunniffe at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in Durban, June 13 to 25, with Tim Wells, Brendan Jury and De Wet Wraight. Music direction was by Chris Letcher, new choreography by Dean Bennewith and set and lighting design by Stephen Woodroffe.


Caroline Smart. 2000. "Review of The Piano Men", artSMart(article first published : 2000-05-21) [1]

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

Return to PLAYS III: Collections

Return to PLAYS IV: Pageants, carnivals and public performances

Return to South African Festivals and Competitions

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page