Tap Dance Legend, lifelong performer, and Tony Award nominee Maurice Hines (Sophisticated Ladies and Eubie!) captivates audiences with stories, songs and smooth choreography in MAURICE HINES IS TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE. Under the direction of Tony Award nominee Jeff Calhoun (Newsies and Grey Gardens), Hines, who started performing at five years old, brings the history of American tap to life and pays tribute to his brother Gregory, family, and the singers who inspired him, from Frank Sinatra to Lena Horne. MAURICE HINES IS TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE is a co-production with Arena Stage and Cleveland Play House.
As an introduction to the future of tap, Hines showcases the talents of tap-dancing brothers John and Leo Manzari. The Menzari Brothers performed with Hines in the show’s recent run at Arena Stage and previously in the 2010 production of Sophisticated Ladies, when he discovered them at ages 17 & 15. Hines will also travel to Atlanta on February 11 to cast one young local tap dancer to join him and the Manzari Brothers in the Alliance’s production.
“Having begun my career at the age of sixteen tap dancing with Ann Miller, you can imagine what an honor it is to be working with Maurice Hines,” said Calhoun. Maurice is not only one of the finest song and dance men of our time, but his firsthand experiences with American racism of the 50s and his hobnobbing with the likes of Pearl Bailey, Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Marlene Dietrich, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra (just to name a few) make him a treasured raconteur for any stage. He is that rare breed whose tongue is as facile as his tapping feet. Maurice is a first-rate life-enhancing entertainer!”
“This show has evolved into not only a celebration of my brother and what a fabulous tap dancer he was, but it’s also a celebration of my mother and father, especially my mother. This play is really a love letter to her as the driving force in keeping all of us on the right track in our careers and teaching us to go through life with class,” said Hines. “This show also gives me the opportunity to thank the fantastically effortless performers who influenced me, from Judy Garland to Lena Horne to Frank Sinatra.”
Hines will be backed by an all-female powerhouse ensemble, the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, led by music director, drummer and longtime Hines collaborator Sherrie Maricle. The ensemble will feature Atlanta area musicians Jami Dauber and Liesl Whitaker (Lead Trumpet), Marla Feeney (Alto Sax), Connie Frigo (Baritone Sax), Dr. Amy Griffiths (Tenor Sax), Hollie Lawing (Trombone), Jackie Pickett (Bass), Penelope Williams (Piano), and Alexa Yates (Second Trumpet).
“Whenever I am on stage I always follow the advice my mother Alma told Greg and I,” added Hines. “‘No matter what you do on stage and in life, always do it with class!’”
Performances for MAURICE HINES IS TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 2:30pm and 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:30pm and 7:30pm, April 2 – May 4, 2014. Opening Night is April 9, 2014, at 8:00pm. There will be no 2:30pm performance on April 5.
Tickets start at $30 and are available at The Woodruff Arts Center Box Office by calling 404.733.5000 or visiting www.alliancetheatre.org/tappin. Discount rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 404.733.4690. Discount rates are also available for members of the military, seniors and students. The Alliance Theatre is located at The Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 – at the corner of Peachtree and 15th Streets, in Midtown Atlanta.
MAURICE HINES IS TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE is part of the Coca-Cola Series on the Alliance Stage. MAURICE HINES IS TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE is also supported by The Home Depot, Delta, and PNC Bank.