08
May
13

Hot Shoe Shuffle

Hot Shoe Shuffle 

David Atkins Enterprises

QPAC Lyric Theatre

3rd – 25th May 2013

 

Reviewed by Stephanie Brown

 

I’m a dancer and choreographer, but until now I haven’t had to string more than fifty words together about what I do or about the industry I love! Luckily for me (and for my husband Trav), Xanthe picked opening night of the award winning Hot Shoe Shuffle as my first performance to review. It’s the anniversary tour and it’s already looking like a smash hit! Here goes… and 5,6,7,8!

 

As we took our seats and scanned the souvenir programme, Trav began tapping my arm and gesturing with a nod to the men taking their seats directly in front of us. Cue wide smile and slightly dropped jaw… Adam Garcia and Dein Perry took their seats within arms reach! I considered being a blubbering fan, but only for a second. I had a job to do.

 

It didn’t take long for me to forget the two stars were even there (sorry, guys!). If I could go back in time, I think I would pick the 1940s, with the men in their bright coloured suits who sing and dance to express their feelings. The show takes you there, in a strange way. It’s a show about rehearsing for a show, with the characters openly discussing which scene they will go to next, and the open set changes by the cast on a lit stage is something I haven’t come across very often. I loved every bit of it! Every character was believable and I found myself lost in each of their stories and personalities.

 

Mood Indigo - David

Producer, Director and Co-Choreographer David Atkins played the Aloysius Shyster/Max King and Dexter Tap character brilliantly. Having never seen Atkins in real life, I had to giggle at his 4-foot-nothing stature. When he first stepped onto the stage, the audience erupted! Unfortunately, despite his background and incredible body of work, I found him completely overshadowed by fellow leads, Jaz Flowers (April) and Bobby Fox (Spring). I suppose I can still credit him for casting these two in the show!

 

Tap Brothers with Jaz Jaz Flowers stole the show.

 

I knew she could sing. I just didn’t realise how well! When I was in New York a couple of years ago, I saw a show called Memphis. At the time I said to Trav about the leading lady, ‘She has the most amazing voice for theatre that I have ever heard’. Well, I’ve found someone better. I’m glad her time on the television show The Voice was cut short. Flowers’ voice would be totally wasted as a pop star in a studio producing boring hit after hit. BUT what really threw me; she can also dance! A true “triple threat” right there, on stage.

 

Bobby Fox played a great Spring. An Irishman who is a 4 time champion Irish Dancer, his tap skills were… I was speechless! The only other person I have ever seen move that fast is our friend, Dale Pengelly. I don’t think it’s fair that these people can dance so well, yet still be able to sing AND act as well! Surely they should share some of that talent around!

 

The Tap Brothers were all great. Some struggled with holding the accent, but it didn’t dampen the mood. Of the six “other brothers”, it was debut musical theatre performer Max Patterson, who played Tap (Tap Tap!), who was the stand out. He played a very funny character, reminding me somewhat of Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory with his ladies’ man mentality.

 

As far as entertainment value goes, the show is sensational. My favourite song of the night was probably I’ve Got To Be A Rugcutter, which was expertly performed on a table. It was colourful, light and fun. Although, just as impressive was when April, Spring and Max sang When I Get My Name In Lights; I was in awe of their combined talent and totally lost in the moment. That number rang through this semi-retired dancer like it was a message to me and only me.

 

Overall, the band was fantastic, the set was awesome, and the cast was amazing. A special little addition at the end of the show even had Adam Garcia visibly STOKED (and a little jealous I think!). Even if you saw the original Hot Shoe Shuffle, you’ll enjoy going along again. This production delivers on all the fun, frivolity and laughter (and top tap moves of course!) that are promised in the promos. Now THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT!

 

 

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