Play Piano Play at Edmonton Fringe Festival

Play Piano Play
Yardbird Suite (11 Tommy Banks Way) August 15, 17, 18, 20 ,22, 24
More information: janjanovsky.com


An interview with Jan Janovsky

Describe your show in five words. 

Piano. Comedy. Family Friendly Fun.

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

Play Piano Play is not a play. It’s a blend of borsht comedy and incendiary pianism mixed with original funny songs and tales of Janovsky’s Czech past, Canadian present and ambiguous future. Like a modern-day “Victor Borge,” this odd, hokey guy takes you on a capricious musical escapade from Classical to Popular. Part concert, part ridiculous, this show suits all ages.

Play Piano Play is Janovsky’s one man comedy/piano show debut at the Saskatoon International Fringe Festival on his cross country Canadian Fringe tour.  Janovsky has toured the world for over eight years working as musical director and guest entertainer for the world’s greatest cruise lines including the following: Holland America, Princess,  Seabourn, Celebrity, etc.  He has sold out shows in national jazz venues such as The Bassment in Saskatoon and is the keyboardist in Joe Piccolo and Swing the Cat.

If you’re someone who wants an alternative to plays and who enjoys music and clean comedy, you’ll be charmed by Jan Janovsky’s  Play Piano Play.

You’ll have to give me some definitions – what exactly is borsht comedy and incindiary pianism?

Borsht comedy is like my parents’ cooking…. you are not too sure what is all in there or if that should be in there, but it’s always good. It refers to different types of comedy from physical (in the style of Mr. Bean) to corny and hokey, to musical parody, original funny songs, puns, Victor Borge-ish humor to Canadian observations of idiosyncrasies and quirks. I am not trying to solve any problems, just entertainment.

Incendiary pianism means that I will play my buns off.  From a virtuoso latin version of flight of the Bumble Bee, a mean boogie woogie, beautiful ballad playing, Sambas, Polkas, pop music, (depending on the audience), and twinkle twinkle in the style of some of the Canadian provinces. I think I have it covered. Ohh, and just to be current, I have some dubstep in there as well.

You’ve toured the world performing on cruise lines and sold out jazz rooms, but this is your Fringe debut. What are you most looking forward to in your fringe performances?

I am most looking forward to connecting with people with the Fringe. That’s what it’s all about. I am excited to be breaking new ground artistically and taking my music and comedy to a new audience.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

I hope people come and say hi after the show. I love talking to people and seeing what inspires them and what puts a smile on their face.  It would be great to meet new people, but not in a speed dating kind of way.  And to facilitate that even more, I am offering my CD to whoever goes to the show for 5 bucks if they tell me a joke. Otherwise, CDs are 10 bucks. In addition, if they submit a review on my website at  www.janjanovsky.com  all of the submitted reviews will be entered to win a draw for a Free House Concert with Jan! It’s a great deal!

Bonus question: Any names you want to drop who have been involved in your show (Edmonton arts people or otherwise)?

I’d like to drop a line to my set piece designer from Edmonton, Keith McQuarrie, who designed the set piece. Is it a table? Is it a piano? No, it’s a piano table. It’s a custom unique job that doubles as my dinning room table and set. Every pianist will be asking, “What is that thing?” I will secretly know that they will all want one.

The 33rd Edmonton International Fringe is August 14 – 24. I’ll be previewing shows up until the Fringe starts. Want your show to appear on After the House Lights? Email jennamarynowski@gmail.com.

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