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BWW Reviews: MAURICE HINES IS TAPPIN' THRU LIFE at Delaware Theatre Company

The Delaware Theatre Company's 37th season is off to a tremendous start with the infectious and memorable MAURICE HINES IS TAPPIN' THRU LIFE. Starring the incomparable tap dance extraordinaire Maurice Hines and supported by the sensational, all-female Diva Jazz Orchestra, MAURICE HINES IS TAPPIN' THRU LIFE sets a new bar for autobiographical, one-man shows.

Maruice Hines. Photo Credit: Matt Urban, Mobius New Media

Joyful, poignant, funny, and touching, Maurice Hines takes the audience through an interactive tap dance down memory lane as he recalls (mostly through song) his decades in show business. Mr. Hines bubbles with a refreshing optimism and appreciation as he recalls the highs and lows with his parents, brother Gregory Hines, and a cascade of legendary stars including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Judy Garland. The stories are accompanied by a set list of appropriate standards including Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" and Stephen Still's "Love the One You're With." The latter does not quite fit with Mr. Hines' otherwise tight method of storytelling, but the audience does not seem to mind as they launch into a rousing sing along at the performer's request. He has that level of genuine sincerity and old-fashioned charm reminiscent of Dick Van Dyke, Betty White, and Carol Burnett, that has all but vanished from today's celebrity culture. It is truly a breath of fresh air.

Hines, Manzari Brothers. Photo Credit: Matt Urban, Mobius New Media

Joining Mr. Hines on stage for unforgettable cameos include the Manzari Brothers, whose show-stopping number serve as the perfect tribute to Maurice and Gregory (further illustrating the effect the Hines brothers have had on the American dance world), and three local dancers, Jake Sweeney, Abigail Cowan, and Maximus E. Klevence, who trade the spotlight for each performance.

Maurine Hines, along with director Jeff Calhoun, have a clear winner on their hands. The Diva Jazz Orchestra is worth the price of admission alone. So it is not difficult to understand why tickets are going fast for MAURICE HINES IS TAPPIN' THRU LIFE. So fast that it has already been extended through October 11th. There is not a more entertaining evening to be had. Grab your tap shoes and head on over to the box office before it is too late.

MAURICE HINES IS TAPPIN' THRU LIFE runs through October 11th. For a complete list of performance times and ticket information, visit or call 302-594-1100. The Delaware Theatre Company is located at 200 Water Street, Wilmington, Delaware.

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From This Author - Mark Brainard