Piano Diaries | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Piano Diaries Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through July 6 2014

Chicago composer and pianist Peter Saltzman describes his one-man autobiographical show as "my take on my artistic journey." And yes, the 80 minutes he spends charting his progression from teenage jazz prodigy to grown-up blogger cum pedagogue are as solipsistic as such a work sounds. Not to mention spotty and blinkered; once he's exhaustively detailed his musical life from age 13 to about 24, Saltzman jumps ahead three decades to demonstrate how he finally, heroically brought jazz, classical and pop together (no mention of, say, Gershwin or Brubeck). Cheesy intermittent video bits fail to add comic relief, and the only convincing moments come when Saltzman sits at the piano, where his muscular playing and ingenious compositions inject much-needed life into the otherwise staid proceedings. —Justin Hayford

Price: $27

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