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 2018-10-10
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

Illeana Douglas 2018-10-14
Twelve Chicago-based LGBTQ+ performing arts organizations to perform together 2018-10-13
New World Play Festival through Oct 27 2018-10-11
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 2018-10-10
The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe, A Love Story 2018-10-10
Oxy, Ohio 2018-10-10
Critics' Picks 2018-10-10
La Boheme 2018-10-10
Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 2018-10-10
Zurich 2018-10-10
Witch 2018-10-10
Martha Wash, dance-floor diva talks Chicago musical, new CD 2018-10-10
THEATER SPOTLIGHT on The Golden Girls: Bea Afraid, The Halloween Edition 2018-10-10
Les Innocents, City of bones 2018-10-10
Kathy Griffin 2018-10-10
The 50th Jeff Awards to honor four theatres over fifty 2018-10-09
The Buttcracker: A Nutcracker Burlesque 2018-10-09
Goodman Theatre's Costume Shop holds costume sale Oct. 20 2018-10-09
Porchlight Music Theatre's season launches with Gypsy, A Musical Fable 2018-10-06
Same-Sex Romance in a New Nation, New Adaptation of Patience and Sarah 2018-10-03
Angela Ingersoll salutes Judy Garland with an evening of song 2018-10-03
White Rabbit Red Rabbit 2018-10-03
Nell Gwynn 2018-10-03
Nell Gwynn 2018-10-03
White Rabbit Red Rabbit 2018-10-03
Indecent 2018-10-03
Critics' Picks 2018-10-03
Caroline, or Change 2018-10-03
SPOTLIGHT Second Skin 2018-10-03
Danai Gurira play gets Chicago debut 2018-10-03
Tootsie 2018-10-03
We're Only Alive for a Short Amount of Time 2018-10-03
Paula Vogel talks newest work, hope, political exorcisms 2018-10-03
'Cats' to return to Chicago next July 2018-10-03
Tenor Michael Fabiano makes Lyric debut in La boheme 2018-10-03
T.R. Knight cast in 'Midsummer' 2018-10-03
The Artificial Jungle 2018-10-03
Downstate 2018-10-01
'Hex-a-Long Hocus Pocus' Oct. 7 2018-10-01
Not for Sale 2018-09-28
 



Copyright © 2018 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

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 produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.