The only moment during the entire performance of Australian dancer and choreographer Dein Perry’s Tap Dogs at the Durham Performing Arts Center that is fairly quiet is the opening scene, when Foreman (Anthony Russo) wanders onto the stage with a flashlight; and the only sound is the tap-tap-tap of his shoes. Once the rest of the work crew are “introduced,” the stage explodes and doesn’t quiet down until the audience is leaving. DPAC rocked so hard, they probably heard the show in Raleigh!
Since the early 1990s ,when street tap hit the Broadway scene, there have been many funky tap musicals; and each one has its own style. Dein Perry’s Tap Dogs, one of Australia’s most successful theatrical exports, has appeared in 37 countries and has been seen by millions of people. Its signature is the roles that the men play throughout the show.
The tappers are working men; and the setting is a construction site, giving them permission to make the pounding, crashing, messy noises that each building site naturally creates. Each dancer has a distinct personality. Foreman is the boss, a mature dancer who barely moves his feet when he creates ripples of taps that set the rhythm for the rest of the troupe.
Kid (Reid Perry) takes his cue from the older dancer, often getting little lessons along the way. His style is more deliberate, as if he’s not quite comfortable in his upper body, which is perfect for his character. Funky (Chaise Rossiello) is the clown of the troupe, throwing a bit of humorous 1980s dance moves into his solo bits. Rover (Sam Marks) offers the sexy, bad-boy personality of the group, giving the women in the audience a thrill when he reveals a six-pack toward the end of the show.
The six dancers, live on the stage throughout the whole performance, are accompanied by two female drummers (Noriko Terada and Caitlin Kalafus), who are absolutely awesome. The energy that both dancers and musicians exude tops itself over and over again, until it feels like the roof is going to come off the theater.
They tap on a sound board. They tap on wood. They tap on steel. They tap on moving jig-saw puzzle pieces. They tap on ladders.
They create humor. They create music. They build a new world of tap right before your eyes. They tap like nuclear steelworkers!
Tap Dogs plays DPAC for two nights only, so take advantage of the few empty seats that are left. You’ll be in for a rousing dance/musical experience like no other from Down Under.
SECOND OPINION: March 20th Raleigh, NC Triangle Arts and Entertainment review by Susie Potter: http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2019/03/different-and-incredibly-fun-tap-dogs-enthralls-audiences-at-dpac/.
The Durham Performing Arts Center presents Dein Perry’s TAP DOGS at 7:30 p.m. March 20 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701, in the American Tobacco Historic District.
TICKETS: $35-$65, plus taxes and fees.
DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787), firstname.lastname@example.org, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/where-to-buy.
Ticketmaster: 800-982-2787 or https://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/369510/913591.
GROUP RATES (15+ tickets): 919/281-0587, Groups@DPACnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/group-services.
SHOW: https://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/tap-dogs and https://www.facebook.com/events/967794010068344/.
VIDEO PREVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/user/dpptapdogs.
DPAC NEWS RELEASE: https://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/dein-perrys-tap-dogs-coming-to-dpac-march-19-20.
THE TOUR: http://www.tapdogs.com/, https://www.facebook.com/tapdogsontourofficial, https://twitter.com/TapDogsOnTour, and https://www.youtube.com/user/dpptapdogs.
TOUR CAST: https://www.tapdogs.com/the-show/cast-of-2018/.
TOUR CREATIVE TEAM: https://www.tapdogs.com/the-show/creative-team/.
PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.dpacnc.com/, https://www.facebook.com/DPACNC, https://twitter.com/DPAC, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durham_Performing_Arts_Center.
Dein Perry (Australian dancer and choreographer): https://www.hlamgt.com.au/client/dein-perry/ (HLA Management Australia bio), https://www.tapdogs.com/the-show/creative-team/ (tour bio), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/dein-perry-407158 (Internet Broadway Database), https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0675032/ (Internet Movie Database), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dein_Perry (Wikipedia).
Dawn Reno Langley is the award-winning author of The Mourning Parade, as well as other novels, children’s books, nonfiction books, essays, short stories, poems, and articles. She is the creator of The Writer’s Hand Journals and runs workshops on using journals in every walk of life. A Fulbright Scholar, she holds the MFA in Fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, VT, and the PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from Union Institute and University. She lives in Durham with her dog, Izzy. To read all of Dawn Langley’s Triangle Review reviews online at Triangle Arts and Entertainment, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/dawn-reno-langle/.