There are only four performances left of The Piano Men at the Historic Savannah Theatre, so you should hurry up and catch it before it's gone. The revue of popular songs by artists like Billy Joel, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles has had audiences singing along and granting standing ovations since it opened in April.
The dueling piano-style show features three experienced, lifelong performers sharing the stage with each other and with some of the regular cast of the Savannah Theatre.
Kenny Munshaw splits his time between Savannah and his home in Canada, where he has released three albums and four singles on the Canadian country music chart. He has also written popular jingles, the hit “Ode to Terry,” which charted No. 1 in Canada, and even penned a song for Justin Bieber.
Bobby Hamilton is a Savannah Theatre regular who recently finished a gig with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas, and Sterlin Colvin has been entertaining audiences in Hilton Head for 20 years with his lively dueling piano shows.
“I’ve been in show business my whole life and there are some people that will fight for that spotlight, but none of us do,” says Colvin of his co-stars.
“It’s a great feeling to bounce off of different styles of piano players that come from different backgrounds,” says Hamilton. “Kenny has a great vocal range that, honestly, exceeds mine or Sterlin’s, so he’s doing some Paul McCartney stuff that is really difficult to pull off. Sterlin brings the entertainer part of it to the show and he’s really good at connecting to the audience. I just like to sit back and watch these two.”
“We fit like puzzle pieces,” says Colvin. “Everybody is in this show going off of their strengths. Bobby is the meat, as far as the music is concerned. He puts it all together, making sure everyone is in the right place.”
Much of the show focuses on songs by Billy Joel and Elton John. Munshaw was certainly inspired by those artists when he was learning to play. “Billy Joel and Elton John made piano lessons somehow make sense,” says Munshaw.
“Bobby does ‘Rocket Man’ and it takes me to the moon and he never does the same every night,” Colvin says of Hamilton.
The piano men are supported by the talented cast of the Savannah Theatre, including Michael Zaller, Matthew and Michelle Meece, Gretchen Stelzer, Huxsie Scott, and Danielle Walker, who particularly impresses the trio with her ripping saxophone solos and a few uncanny Carole King numbers.
“This theater is Savannah’s little hidden gem. Excellent entertainers, a wonderful small venue with a large feel,” says Colvin.
With the show nearing the end of its six-month run, the cast is as tight as they’ve ever been and not quite ready to stop.
“It keeps getting better,” says Hamilton. “Sometime it feels like you need a break after a run, but it’s almost like we’re just hitting our stride. It’s really a fun show and I hate to see it end.”
“I’m going to miss it,” Munshaw says. “I’m going to miss the camaraderie. I mean, music is music. You choose it because you love it, so you’re going to love that every night, but I’m going to miss seeing the people every day, for sure. It is the best group of people I have ever worked with collectively in my entire life.”