The Piano Lesson Show Poster

The Piano Lesson Tickets

Set in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in 1936, The Piano Lesson is the story of the Charles family as they battle their surroundings and each other over their shared legacy—an antique piano. The drama is the fourth play in August Wilson's epic Century Cycle.

This show is closed.

Performances ended on Jan. 20, 2013.

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About The Piano Lesson on Broadway

Previews: Oct 31, 2012 • Opening: Nov 18, 2012 • Closing: Jan 20, 2013
Off-Broadway Plays Drama Award Winning
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Irene Diamond Stage at The Signature Center
480 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10019
Hearing Assistance
Assisted listening devices for each theater per ADA requirements. Devices can be found in the central lobby prior to every performance.
Wheelchair Access
Fully wheelchair accessible.
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What Is the Story of The Piano Lesson?
Set in 1936 in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, The Piano Lesson centers around the Charles family, who must decide what to do with an heirloom piano that has been in the family for generations. When Boy Willie returns home from a Mississippi prison with his friend Lymon and a truck full of watermelons, he’s ready to purchase the land where his ancestors worked as slaves—if only he can find the money to buy it. He has his eyes on selling that intricately carved piano, but his sister Berniece demands that it stay in the family, even though she doesn’t play it. As tension mounts, the ghost of Sutter, the man who once owned the Charles family as slaves, comes back to haunt them.


A collection of our favorite reviews from professional news sources.

"[Brandon J.] Dirden, blunt, brusque, fast-talking, makes Boy Willie's verbal effusions a scrambling nonstop ride, perfectly balanced by [Roslyn] Ruff's steely, slow-burning determination."

The Village Voice

Michael Feingold

"The first-rate production has been directed with meticulous care and a fantastically musical ear by Ruben Santiago-Hudson."


Linda Winer

"22 years after its Broadway debut, this deeply moving work about the lingering scars of slavery on a 1930s Pittsburgh family is getting a sterling revival."

The New York Post

Frank Scheck

"And perhaps best of all is Tony winner Chuck Cooper ('The Life') as Doaker's 'big recording star' brother Wining Boy. His bluesy drunken ode to his recently departed wife, Cleotha, is heartbreaking."

Entertainment Weekly

Melissa Rose Bernardo

"This immensely satisfying show, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, an actor who has become an expert interpreter of Wilson’s work, brings a timely reminder of how consoling, how restorative, how emotionally sustaining great theater can be."

The New York Times

Charles Isherwood

Cast & Creative


Wining Boy
Eric Lenox Abrams
Jason Dirden
Alexis Holt
Mandi Masden
James A. Williams


Written by
August Wilson
Set Designer
Michael Carnahan
Costume Designer
Karen Perry
Lighting Designer
Rui Rita
Sound Designer
David Van Tieghem
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