The stage lights went dark, then came back up in deep crimson. Each of the eight dancers, dressed in a tux, stood on stage riveted by a spot. Then the music came up--loud--the unmistakable intro to Eleanor Rigby. So it began: three minutes of complete awe and bliss, the full company of Thank you, Gregory, tap dancing to Eleanor Rigby Sound ridiculous, corny, silly? Hardly! This was no polite Ginger Rogers/Fred Astair duet; this was hard-charging, stage-stomping, sweat-dripping syncopated tap dancing, and it was great! I wanted to see it again and again.
Thank you, Gregory, which I saw last Friday evening, was conceived as a tribute to Gregory Hines, who died six years ago. It was that, and so much more: a cavalcade of tap dancing from the first recorded images to its incarnation on the contemporary stage presented by an amazingly talented cast of eight dancers, four of each sex. Plus, Maurice Hines, Gregory's brother and longtime dance partner, who is a showman par excellence.
Keep your eyes and ears open; if the show comes anywhere near you, GO!
Isle Royale 2017: The Saga Begins
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