Broadway Legend and Tony Award nominee Maurice Hines’ “Tappin’ Thru Life” is a swinging song-and-dance musical celebrating the astonishing showmanship of one of the last great tap dancers still working today whose collaborators formed a who’s who of theatre, music, film and television.
Co-starring the fierce tap dancing Manzari brothers and the vivacious Diva Jazz Orchestra, performances run Dec. 28 through Jan. 29, 2017 at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe in Phoenix.
Performances are 2 p.m. Wednesdays,2 and 7 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.
Mr. Hines began working when he was five years old and his brother Gregory was three. He shares funny and heartbreaking experiences about his life with Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Judy Garland and many others. The show is a tribute to his loving family, both on stage and off.
“My interest is in the today and tomorrow of life and popular culture,” he said. “I love discovering and mentoring new talent as well as performing and telling stories about the greats.”
Laura Collins-Hughes, writing in The New York Times, described “Tappin’ Thru Life” as a “jazz-and tap-filled memory piece,” adding that “What makes “Tappin’ Thru Life” more than a vanity piece is its willingness to speak of pain. Mr. Hines can be an amusing storyteller, and he wows us with his footwork as he sings classic song after song, including a blazing version of ‘Luck Be a Lady.’ Segregation still reigned in his youth, though, and after Mr. Hines sneaks a story about that into the show, stunning the audience into silence, he begins the next song a cappella.”
“Tappin’ Thru Life” is created and choreographed by Mr. Hines. Delaware Theatre Company Executive Director Bud Martin is the creative consultant.
Co-starring are two of Maurice’s discoveries, tap-dancing siblings John and Leo Manzari, who are reminiscent of young Maurice and brother Gregory. The Diva Jazz Orchestra is led by drummer Sherrie Maricle.
Photo by Matt Urban