The show is called “Dueling Pianos,” but you won’t see these pianists competing for audience attention.
“It’s a bit of a misnomer,” said Sam Ferguson, owner and lead player of 176 Keys Fun Pianos. “It’s more about interaction with and response from the audience.”
Ferguson, Jefrey Taylor and Steven Ramirez will take their interactive song and comedy show to Rapid City at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The three will each bring their own specialty as performers to Rapid City, something Ferguson says is perfectly suited to keeping the show lively.
“Jefrey’s the perfect guy for a rock ‘n’ roll song, and a great singer,” Ferguson said. “My strength is humor, bringing comedy to the show. Steven’s a little bit of both. Plus he’s the youngest on staff, so he’s perfect for newer songs while Jeffrey and I cover older material.”
Ferguson said that the show usually has two performers on stage at a time, with the two working together as a musical-comedy team.
“It’s kind of an Abbott and Costello dynamic,” Ferguson said. “Neither performer is the sidekick, they’re equally important.”
Ferguson said that each member was adept at switching to whatever the moment called for, however.
“I am for anything that works in the moment,” Ferguson said. “My favorite way to entertain is making people laugh, but if the crowd wants to sing more than laugh, I’m happy to do that.”
Ferguson said that the key is reading the crowd and acting accordingly, playing whatever is going to get the best reaction out of the crowd in the moment.
Megan Whitman, executive director of Main Street Square, said that this is the second time they’ve invited this particular Dueling Pianos group, with Main Street Square previously hosting other groups with similar shows. Whitman said that it’s a perfect show for the whole family.
“We see a variety of ages of people coming downtown for this show, from young families to older adults,” Whitman said. “It’s a great chance to create memories for families in particular.”
Whitman said that it’s a great variety show, mixing comedy with Elton John or Billy Joel classics and contemporary hits.
“They also take special requests,” Whitman said. “If there’s a song you want to hear, they’ll probably be able to perform it.”
Ferguson said that they keep up with the biggest hits, as they change from month to month.
“Last year, ‘All About That Bass’ was our biggest song for a while, and then two months later it wasn’t,” Ferguson said. “Whereas something like ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ is never our most popular song in the set, but they’re consistently in the top 10 because people know them and don’t get tired of them.”
Ferguson said that he looked forward to interacting with the audience and getting them to be a part of the show.
“If we’re just on stage, there’s an imaginary wall between us and the audience,” Ferguson said. “We want to break through that wall, become more tangible and get a more personal connection.”
Contact Max B. O’Connell at 394-8427 or firstname.lastname@example.org