True Genius at Play this Weekend: Larry Schanker at the Piano!

It’s a rare thing to experience an artist of the highest caliber in his element. Imagine being in Picasso’s studio watching him paint. Try to picture yourself on a Hollywood movie set as Humphrey Bogart tells Ingrid Bergman, “Here’s looking at you, kid.” Just think of sitting in a Harlem club listening to Louis Armstrong blowing his horn.

That’s how you’ll feel listening to Larry Schanker at the piano.

And if you live anywhere near southern Michigan, northeastern Indiana or northwestern Ohio – you have a chance THIS WEEKEND to see true genius in the flesh.

On this Sunday, September 30th, you have a chance to enjoy one of the most brilliant pianists alive — Larry Schanker.

Larry will perform at the Acorn Theatre in Three Oaks, Michigan. For tickets, click here.

According to the New Buffalo Arts Council program, Larry’s “concert will consist of several three-piece thematic suites, in styles ranging from traditional classical music to classic rock. Dr. Schanker’s original music will be interspersed, including a solo version of the 4th movement of his Concerto for Jazz Piano. Rounding out the afternoon will be a showing of “In the Park”, a Charlie Chaplin short film with Dr. Schanker improvising the accompaniment.”

 Let me say two things:

1. Larry’s Concerto for Jazz Piano is like Gershwin on steroids – and only Larry could possibly play it!

2. I haven’t seen Chaplin’s “In the Park”, but I have seen Larry play live accompaniment to a Buster Keaton film – and he was amazing.

I’ve known Larry Schanker since our college days at Northwestern University when he was the piano player who kicked our Mee-Ow Show comedy revues up more than a few creative notches. After that, he was the man behind the piano for several history-making Practical Theatre Company comedy revues, as well as an original member of Riffmaster & The Rockme Foundation.

Since then, Larry’s work has run the gamut from Shakespeare to Chekhov, to The Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol, and Second City in Chicago. This past summer, Dr. Schanker (did I mention that he’s a very smart guy?) presented an evening of silent film as part of the Southwest Michigan Symphony Casual Classics Series — and at the Indiana University Cinema, he accompanied a 1920 silent film version of Hamlet.

Larry at the piano in 1988 while The Practical Theatre works on the Barrosse-Hall musical, “Rockme!” for the Columbia College New Musicals Project.

Yeah, yeah, yeah – he’s REALLY good. Go see him play. That way, you can say, “Oh! I saw Larry Schanker play in 2012 in New Buffalo!”

And everybody will wish they could have been there.

Two guys who WERE there. Rockme Foundation members Maurice Cleary (L) and Casey Fox (R) flank Maestro Doctor Schanker after his show.

4 Comments

Filed under Art, Beauty, Music

4 responses to “True Genius at Play this Weekend: Larry Schanker at the Piano!

  1. And on top of being a great talent, one of THE nicest guys on the planet. Come west, Larry, & play for us, please?

  2. Fat Dave

    Larry is so freaking awesome, there really aren’t the words in any human language to express it. And now that we can call him Dr Schanker, well, that just kicks the already off the charts awesome level to a whole new realm of being!

  3. A stunning talent. And a wonderful person.

  4. Don’t you wish you could have seen this? Dr. Shank performs all too rarely and never near enough to US.

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