A door creaks open and we hear high heels click across the room. The piano bench scrapes against the marble floor and immediately the rise and fall of Chopin filters through the atmosphere. Reginald, an anxious politician caught in a financial scandal, just took valerian to calm his mind. To him, the piano keys sound ghastly. As he panics at the apparently cringe-worthy sound, the pianist halts. Then ensues a humorous exchange between the piano player, concert pianist Strega Thundridge, baffled by Reginald’s reaction, and Reginald himself.
“I thought you were a crocodile,” Reginald shamefully says in his valerian-heavy state.
“What a silly thing to say. Do I look like a crocodile?” Strega asks.
“Do I play like a crocodile?”
“Well, no. It’s so hard to know how a crocodile would play.”
The Music Cure, a play written by George Bernard Shaw, is only 23 minutes long but offers a chance to feel music’s curative effects. Unbeknownst to Reginald, his mother had hired Strega to play music for him with the hope to ease his anxiety. Unfortunately, Reginald hates music, which results in a difficult and humorous job for Strega. As they converse with each other in this audio play, recorded selections of Chopin, Brahms, and Mendelssohn play through the performance and enchant us.
Misalliance Repertory Theatre Immerses Us in Reginald’s Rhythmic Therapy
As we dive deeper into Reginald’s story and listen to Strega play, we witness music’s ability to ease this fretful man’s mind, which you, like this reviewer, might experience. Strega offers to teach him what she knows about music, much to his chagrin. As she plays, though, Reginald’s financial anxiety fades and joy overtakes him. We hear his cries of glee at the music Strega plays. With time, he becomes more invested in the music and plays a small tune himself. As he completes his song, he shouts, “Again! Again!” With the flowing and crisp recordings of pianist Tom Bachtell, it’s not hard to imagine Reginald’s joy. The piano music allows us to fully imagine, even without images, Reginald’s transformation, showing how music can be a cure.
The Music Cure is suited for anyone interested in a short performance with captivating classical music and Shaw’s witty humor.
Music: Tom Bachtell
Director: Gary Alexander
Managing Director: Daniel Millhouse
Dialect Coach: Barbara Zahora
Audio Editing and Sound Effects: George Zahora
Sound Engineer: Lauren Thompson
About the Author: Annabelle Harsch
Annabelle has perpetual graphite smears on her hands from stories she wrote. She’s written about secrets and regret, but her favorite things to write about are love and dragons, good or bad. When Annabelle isn’t reading and writing, she’s usually hiking or buying plants and books.