I went to the first Andreas Kern show tonight with really high hopes: Liszt, hip-hop, and soccer were supposed to be on the program, plus a special guest. As the description boasted a combination of virtuosity and comedy, I was ready for a great time.
The show began with him playing some Beethoven and narrating a bit of his childhood, sometimes in rhyme and sometimes in prose. It got a bit confusing when he swapped between the two as I wasn’t sure which way he’d be going next. Throughout the program, he kept switching back and forth between music and speech as well, and while part of it included interesting stories, some of the scripts were too obviously staged and thus a bit awkward and static. The special guests were really, really awkward, and he could have been more engaging with them both, especially the soccer player – I expected Kern and his friend to play piano for the guy and run a prank on him or something, but nothing really happened. Though he was also made it clear that he preferred pieces or movements played completely through, sometimes when he played through an entire movement, it would feel heavy and slow simply because the music was denser. Still, some of his jokes were pretty good, and the audience participation bits were fun.
I was fairly disappointed with how the program was put together, as it all felt a bit sloppy and really anticlimactic. But if it is really his first time performing the show, he still has lots of room to grow and improve. I hope tomorrow’s show will be better, because it really does have the potential to be an entertaining piece.
Andreas Kern is half of the Piano Battle duo. His other half is Paul Cibis.
“The Andreas Kern Show” – Nov 17, 2015 @ 10 pm – Nov 18, 2015 @ 8 pm – Fringe Club