Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-02-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Imagine Tap
2006-07-26

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Derrick K. Grant, Aaron Tolson

At: Harris Music and Dance Theater

Phone: 312-334-7777; $29-$69

Runs through: Aug. 6

By Jonathan Abarbanel

The brand-new show Imagine Tap has ambitions—although no immediate plans—for a life beyond Chicago, perhaps on Broadway. What's on display at the Harris Theater, while fully produced and well produced, is the first flowering of an idea that hasn't gone through endless workshops. It's still fresh and malleable and, to a degree, unfinished.

There are two aspects of Imagine Tap to consider: the dance elements ( primarily ) and then the other elements of theatrical presentation such as music, design and writing.

If there is fault to be found with Derick K. Grant's choreography, and its execution by a dynamic and athletic ensemble, I'm not the critic to find it. To a man and woman, they are dazzling and engaging hoofers ( Grant himself among them ) performing in a wide range of tap styles. There are nods to traditional song-and-dance tap with homages to the great Nicholas Brothers and film choreographer Hermes Pan, the behind-the-camera force behind Fred Astaire. Most of the dance, however, is in the contemporary percussive vein, clearly bearing witness to the torch passed from Gregory Hines to Savion Glover and others of the present generation, with bits of break dancing and hip-hop also in the rich mix. The dancing is all aces, although the women noticeably have less to do than the men.

However, if Imagine Tap wishes to be a complete theatrical entertainment, it must focus on the other elements that are not as well-thought-out or executed as the dance itself.

Imagine Tap is a revue, a series of independent numbers with no overall storyline. If each segment is to stand alone, each must have a strong context, a small dramatic premise. Some do—such as the joyous 'Detention' and the atmospheric 'Samurai Shuffle'—but others do not. Original songs frame some of the scenes, but the integration between song and dance is not effective. Repeatedly, the singers sing and then the dancers dance. The creators need to better integrate song with dance, and sometimes allow both to happen at the same time.

Under musical director ( and composer ) Zane Mark, the tight and energetic eight-piece band sounds twice its size and like a million bucks. But, despite tips of the cap to Cole Porter and Irving Caesar ( 'Tea for Two' ) , the music is too much of a piece. Jazz and salsa flourishes notwithstanding, almost every number turns into a blast of R&B. What is needed is more variety in volume, tempo and style. Even contemporary tap—vs. old-hat soft shoe—might be performed to a quiet tune, which would be a fresh idea.

Imagine Tap is an exuberant dance show. The creative team and ensemble clearly have talent to develop it beyond its present limits, if they have the will.


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

THEATER REVIEW The Total Bent 2019-02-15
THEATER REVIEW Fulfillment Center 2019-02-13
Nederlander Theatre lights marquee 2019-02-13
The Jeff Awards to present panel on Latinx Theater 2019-02-12
SPOTLIGHT on Underscore Theatre's Chicago Musical Theatre Festival 2019-02-12
Critics' Picks 2019-02-12
THEATER REVIEW A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder 2019-02-12
THEATER REVIEW Pipeline 2019-02-12
Afterglow opening at Pride Arts Center March 27 2019-02-09
Pride Films and Plays offers Buyer & Cellar, comedy of life in Streisand's basement 2019-02-09
Chicago Theatre Week February 7 - 17 2019-02-08
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder 2019-02-07
'Evan Hansen' digital lottery announced 2019-02-07
Mayoral arts forum Feb. 10 at Broadway 2019-02-06
Chicago Theatre Week Feb. 7-17 2019-02-06
Raven Theatre Announces 2019-20 Season 2019-02-05
THEATER REVIEW Nina Simone: Four Women 2019-02-05
THEATER REVIEW How to Catch Creation 2019-02-03
All That He Was benefit concert March 11 at Pride Arts Center 2019-01-31
Hamilton, The Exhibition tickets on sale 2019-01-31
Mike Pence Sex Dream on stage Feb. 16 through March 16 2019-01-31
OUTspoken! LGBTQ storyteller series at Sidetrack Feb. 5 2019-01-30
WINTER THEATER SPECIAL Ten dramas to see this winter 2019-01-30
WINTER THEATER SPECIAL Intriguing shows to see this winter 2019-01-30
THEATER REVIEW Red Rex 2019-01-30
WINTER THEATER SPECIAL Genre-defying works dot theater landscape 2019-01-29
WINTER THEATER SPECIAL Up close and personal: Intimacy design in February productions 2019-01-29
THEATER REVIEW In the Blood 2019-01-29
THEATER SPOTLIGHT 2019-01-29
Critics' Picks 2019-01-29
THEATER REVIEW Photograph 51 2019-01-29
THEATER REVIEW Fuente Ovejuna 2019-01-29
'The Total Bent' Feb. 7-March 10 2019-01-29
Chicagoland Theatres raise over $300,000 to support Season of Concern 2019-01-24
THEATER REVIEW Big Science 2019-01-23
THEATER REVIEW Cardboard Piano 2019-01-22
THEATER REVIEW Between Riverside and Crazy 2019-01-22
THEATER REVIEW Evil Dead The Musical 2019-01-22
THEATER REVIEW I Know My Own Heart 2019-01-22
THEATER REVIEW What We're Up Against 2019-01-22
 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.