By Gabe Johnson
Dueling pianists tickled the ivory and tickled the humor of audience members recently in Loyola University Chicago’s student union.
Joe Montanaro, 30, an entertainer from Scotia, New York, faced off against Andrew Puszykowski of Midwest Dueling Pianos in a performance that included singing and even some comedy.
“The crowd was great. They were all really responsive and seemed to be having a lot of fun,” Montanaro said with a smile. “Plus,we didn’t break anything so that’s always a plus.”
The pianists played plenty of classics at the Thursday performance, from bands such as Queen, The Proclaimers, and finished off the night by playing a slightly comical version of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”.
The two duelists also played some childhood favorites that had the whole crowd singing along including songs from “The Lion King”, “Pokemon”, “Friends”, “Toy Story”, and “Family Matters”.
Audience members were pleased by the performance.
“These guys are amazing. I was planning to do homework tonight, but as I was passing through I couldn’t help but stop!” said Casey Sutcliff, 18, a freshman political science and pre-med major.
Alex Carron, 21, a senior Marketing and Entrepreneurship major and the special events director for Loyola’s Department of Programming, also was happy with the event.
“We’ve done this event before in the past and it’s always been a huge success, people always seem to love it.” Carron said. “The two pianists just play off each other as well as any suggestions by audience members, and they really get the crowd going. I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be having this event again in the future.”