Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Review of "Maurice Hines is Tappin' Thru Life"


Maurice Hines is Tappin' Thru Life, directed by Jeff Calhoun, tells the story of Maurice and Gregory Hines, who began performing together when they were children. Joining Maurice Hines on stage is the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, as well as two sets of tap-dancing brothers - John and Leo Manzari and Max and Sam Heimowitz. Hines does not hold back in telling the story of his rise to stardom, for instance, he describes through song, dance, and prose how black entertainers were treated in Las Vegas during the 1950s. The Hines brothers and other black entertainers were not allowed to perform in hotels along the Strip, but were relegated to other hotels in the city. Hines tells a story of a famous black entertainer who went in a swimming pool and when she was finished with her swim, hotel management drained and cleaned the pool. While the music in the show was popular with my parents' generation (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Lena Horne, Judy Garland, etc.), my feet did tap from time to time with some of the songs. Hines engages the audience and it shows that he truly enjoys every moment of the performance. At 70+ years old, Hines still has some moves!

Maurice Hines is Tappin' Thru Life at Arena Stage is being performed at the Kreeger Theater and ends on December 29. Tickets are still available and range from $50 to $99.

Photo by Teresa Wood, courtesy of Arena Stage

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