Award-winning music director, arranger and orchestrator Bryan Schimmel, has been at the musical helm of blockbuster musical theatre hits such as Jersey Boys, We Will Rock You, Chicago, Rent, Annie and The Rocky Horror Show.
Bryan is best known for co-creating and performing in the original A Handful of Keys in which he thrilled audiences with a dazzling display of pianistic virtuosity and his infectious sense of humour.
Twenty-five years later Bryan pulls back the curtain to reveal the real person behind the maestro. More Than A Handful takes us on an autobiographical journey interspersed with Bryan’s unparalleled mastery at the piano, exploring the adversities he had to face in order to succeed. The unique mix of musicality, quirky, dead pan wit and an inspirational account of a lifetime of overcoming the odds makes More Than A Handful a show that audiences will not want to miss!
"MORE THAN A HANDFUL is a true treat for both teenager and adult. Honest and valuable theatre that speaks to our own era from some walking the walk and spinning the keys - is a very rare thing. I took a group of Grade 10 - 12 learners to see the show and they have not stopped talking about its candid, hard-hitting and resonating lessons. From the symbolic staging to the actual stories told by Bryan, to the display of musical and performance talent - it was humbling and life-giving. It was a masterclass in reflecting on one's own journey and finding your way through troubled times. It makes my job as a teacher so much easier when we get to experience human stories that can spark conversations, debate and invigorate those trying to find their own confidence. I am so grateful for theatre like this and cannot wait to see it again when it comes so that I can share it with more youth as we help to equip them to face the life ahead. This is best done with the attitude of one of Bryan's onstage melodies - 'No Day But Today!' "
DARRYL SPIJKERS / Drama Teacher / Somerset West
"As students of Drama, we really enjoyed a performance without pretence and when we got back to class we tried to find an understanding of what we experienced. Everyone could relate. Bryan's play allows the audience to walk with him through his life and the challenges he had to face, the problems he had, his wins and his losses. We learned more in that sitting than we did in a whole year of Life Orientation! I remember thinking to myslef while watching the performance: 'This is someone's real life right in front of me.' I think what makes it especially catching is that he tells many stories that go back to him as a child and a teenager and I can put myself in his shoes because I am also about to head out there. It connects so much better than most Netflix content because you get to experience the journey first hand! All students (not only those studying Music or Drama) need an oppotunity to look at ALL different forms of art and theatre, and this play is that much more unique and educational than the rest."
Grade 11 Drama Student / Somerset West