Charlie Kraut will be one of the pianists performing at Duelling Pianos at the Teechamitsa Theatre on Saturday.

Head to head on the ivories

Performers bring Vegas-style show to Colwood

A little bit of Las Vegas is coming to Colwood.

A trio of pianists from the City of Lights bring their own brand of upbeat excitement and fundraising acumen to the Teechamitsa Theatre this Saturday (April 30) for the Duelling Pianos show at Royal Bay secondary. While the musicians duel, students from David Cameron elementary and Dunsmuir middle school will be crowned the winners.

“It’s going to be three hours of pure entertaining, interactive, lively entertainment,” said Fern Smythe, a parent advisory committee executive member at both schools. “If yo  u don’t go home with sore hands from clapping and a hoarse voice for singing, they haven’t done their job. But they will, this is what they do.”

Smythe, whose five children have graduated through or still attend one of the schools, said pianists Todd Dunnigan, Van Walraven and Charlie Kraut are like “human jukeboxes.” With a library of 4,500 memorized songs between them, she said audiences will be drawn into the performances, make requests and donate money to see their songs played.

“To me there is many aspects of Vegas that people go there for, and when we go, it’s to see the entertainment and see the great talented performers. We have an opportunity to bring those shows to Colwood.” All proceeds from the night go to the two schools for school supplies, field trips, guest artists and more. A digital reader board at David Cameron and development of exterior green spaces for Dunsmuir are among the projects on tap, Smythe said.

“What I think is most exciting is we are bringing a community together to have fun, bringing top talent and raising money for students,” she said. “To bring something that will give back to my community is what is most important to me.”

Duelling Pianos is a 19-over show and runs from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Royal Bay, 3500 Ryder Hesjedal Way.

Tickets are $25 each in advance or $30 at the door. Email Smythe at or text 250-588-0084.

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