The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Tap The Night Away

By Virginia Ross

Last Wednesday's Burlington Civic Music program was electric from the first note. Such expertise of an old time art, such clever usage of minimal staging, and such choreography backed by fantastic orchestra score! From the "first tap" the dancers had the audience jiving to the beat.

Years ago, if one could afford dance lessons, she usually took either ballet or tap or both. It was the tap that usually showed up on hometown talent shows so Wednesday's audience was revisiting old memories as well as creating new ones; for the show was small time Broadway arriving in Midwest.

The set was barebones with clever use of panels, video screens and specifically positioned lights. A stairway and balcony offered another level for either dancing or singing or both. The mood changed with the costumes, music, and feed on the video screens.

The dancing was mind blowing-tap in all forms and at times, stretching physical endurance of the dancers-they were great! The four men and four women tapped their way with high energy from "42nd Street" to "The Challenge," showcasing each performer and their unusual steps. Two songsters added another dimension.

I took my grandsons and when asked their favorite, zeroed in on "Dancing in the Dark." This number began with Fred Astaire type couple floating by and morphed into "glow in the dark" characters using a derby, hands, feet dancing with an old style dress form. Personally, I enjoyed the Irish step dancing and the Tribal number which featured colorful costumes and the use of poles which were clacked rhythmically. The red raincoats and black umbrellas used in "Singing in the Rain" added a splash of color.

Looking at the tour credits in the program, one soon realizes the incredible amount of people needed to produce such a production. Costumes, only one small part, were changed with each number and so quickly that not a beat was lost.

Definitely, we all tapped our feet and in our hearts sang along with the score; it was an explosive evening.

Mark Nov. 12th on your calendar for "An Evening with Molly Ringwald-"great entertainment; what a bargain!