MAURICE HINES IS TAPPIN' THRU LIFE Comes to The Wallis, 5/9-24
The Wallis Center for the Performing Arts presents Maurice Hines is Tappin' Thru Life for 19 performances only from May 9 - 24, 2014 in the Bram Goldsmith Theater. Maurice Hines, a Tony Award nominee, is a celebrated dancer, choreographer, director, and singer, whose impressive career spans over 40 years. Directed by Tony Award nominee Jeff Calhoun (Broadway's Newsies and Grey Gardens), Maurice Hines is Tappin' Thru Life features D.C.'s dynamic tap-dancing duo, the Manzari Brothers, as well as the all-female, nine-piece big band, The Diva Jazz Orchestra.
Maurice Hines is Tappin' Thru Life is a co-production with the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Arena Stage, Alliance Theatre and Cleveland Play House.
Hines, who started performing at five years old, brings the history of American tap to life and pays tribute to his brother Gregory and the singers who inspired him, from Frank Sinatra to Lena Horne. In a nod to the future of tap, Hines showcases the talents of the D.C. tap dancing duo, John and Leo Manzari, now 21 and 18 respectively, who reunite with their mentor Hines after their whirlwind run performing alongside him in Arena Stage's production of Sophisticated Ladies, which earned each brother a Helen Hayes Award nomination. Rounding out the cast of performers is 10-year-old tapping phenomenon Luke Spring who wowed TV audiences on the "Ellen" show at 7 years old and also was featured in the new Broadway production of A Christmas Story. This young talent embodies the next generation of tapping talent along with his Manzari Brother co-stars.
Tickets ($79-$129) are available at www.thewallis.org or by calling 310-746-4000 or in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center Box Office located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.
Hines will be backed by nine members of the internationally renowned Diva Jazz Orchestra, an all-female powerhouse ensemble. Voted one of the best big bands in the world by DownBeat magazine, DIVA is led by music director, drummer and longtime Hines collaborator Sherrie Maricle and features Janelle Gill (piano) Jennifer Krupa (trombone) Leigh Pilzer (baritone sax), Amy Shook (acoustic bass) and Leisl Whitaker (lead trumpet), along with Sharel Cassity (lead alto sax) Jami Dauber (trumpet) and Camille Thurman (tenor sax).
Director, Jeff Calhoun says, "Having begun my career at the age of 16, tap dancing with Ann Miller, you can imagine what an honor it is to be working with Maurice Hines. 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 treasure raconteur. He is that rare breed whose tongue is as facile as his tapping feet. Maurice is a first-rate life-enhancing entertainer."
Maurice Hines adds, "This show started with my wanting to celebrate my brother, Gregory. I read an article on tap dance a few years ago and his name wasn't mentioned - so wrong! But now I get the change t honor properly what a fabulous tap dancer he was. This show also gives me the opportunity to thank the fantastically effortless performers who influenced me, from Judy Garland to Lena Horne to Nat King Cole."
Hines dedicates this show to his mother, Alma, who he speaks of as "a truly remarkable lady who supported and nurtured our love of performing. Whenever I am on stage, I always follow the advice she told Greg and I, 'No matter what you do on stage and in life, always do it with class!'"
ABOUT THE TEAM FOR MAURICE HINES IS TAPPIN' THRU LIFE
MAURICE HINES (CREATOR, CHOREOGRAPHER, PERFORMER) - Maurice Hines' Broadway credits include Eubie!, Bring Back Birdie with Chita Rivera and Donald O'Connor, Sophisticated Ladies, and conceived/directed/choreographed/starred in Uptown...It's Hot! (Atlantic City). He choreographed Hairspray (Santo Domingo); and choreographed/starred in Dance, Dance, Dance Snap and Cool Papa's Party (Metro Stage, Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Choreography). He starred in a national tour of Guys and Dolls, directed/choreographed/starred in the national tour of Harlem Suite with successive leading ladies Jennifer Holiday, Stephanie Mills, and Melba Moore and starred in the national tour of Jelly's Last Jam. Film credits include Francis Ford Coppola's The Cotton Club. At the age of five, Maurice studied tap at the Henry LeTang Dance Studio in New York City. He created the dance company Ballet USA with Mercedes Ellington. Maurice has directed and choreographed many music videos, including I'll Be Good to You, the first release off of Quincy Jones' Back on the Block album. Maurice became the first African-American director for Radio City Music Hall when he directed The Radio City Spectacular. Maurice's latest album on Arbor Records To Nat 'King' Cole, With Love was released to critical acclaim.
JEFF CALHOUN (DIRECTOR) - Jeff Calhoun is associate artist at the Ford's Theatre where his production of Violet recently opened. Jeff is currently represented on Broadway by Disney's Newsies, for which he earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Director. Some of Jeff's other Broadway credits include Jekyll and Hyde, Bonnie and Clyde, Grey Gardens Deaf West's Big River, Brooklyn, Annie Get Your Gun, Grease, Tommy Tune Tonite and The Will Rogers Follies. On tour and internationally, Jeff directed Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 and Disney's High School Musicals 1 & 2. Jeff began his career as a tap dancer, working with the likes of Tommy Tune, Ann Miller, Ken Berry, Arthur Duncan, and the Nicholas Brothers. The highlight of Jeff's performing career was tap dancing with the legendary Charles "Honi" Coles on Broadway in My One and Only.
THE MANZARI BROTHERS (PERFORMERS) - The Manzari Brothers previously appeared in Arena Stage's production of Sophisticated Ladies starring Maurice Hines at the Lincoln Center. John and Leo were also seen in the 50th Anniversary of the 35th President of the United States at the Kennedy Center, Ellington Songbook and Sacred Concert at the Strathmore Theatre and Great American Songbook at the Palladium in Indiana. They each received a Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Resident Musical in 2010 for Sophisticated Ladies. Their TV credits include Mo'Nique Show, special guest on So You Think You Can Dance, Jerry Lewis Telethon and PBS NewsHour. They are graduates of the Field School and proud members of Actor's Equity Association.
ABOUT THE WALLIS: Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) transforms a Beverly Hills city block, facing Santa Monica Boulevard, between Crescent and Canon Drives, into a vibrant new cultural destination with two distinct, elegant buildings: the historic 1933 Italianate-style Beverly Hills Post Office (now the Paula Kent Meehan Historic Building) and the new, contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together these two structures embrace the city's history and future, creating a new cultural landmark. Within the treasured Post Office, existing spaces are re-imagined into the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, a theater school for young people, a café (both opening in 2014), and gift shop (currently a Sugarfina pop-up candy boutique). The Wallis, the first performing arts center to be built in Beverly Hills, is a home for artists from around the world and audiences of every age. For its Inaugural Season, The Wallis is producing and presenting outstanding theater, music and dance, as well as exciting programming for the family audience.
Maurice Hines is Tappin' Thru Life
It all takes place at the Bram Goldsmith Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Performances: Friday, May 9 - Saturday, May 24, 2014. Schedule: Saturdays at 3:00pm & 8:00pm; Sundays at 2:00pm & 7:00pm; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays at 8:00pm. Price: $79.00 - $129.00. Tickets: In Person - Wallis Annenberg Center Ticket Services, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210; By Phone - 310-746-4000; Online - www.thewallis.org.
Photo Credit: Teresa Wood