By Carey Purcell
15 Nov 2013
|Photo by Tony Powell|
The production continues through Dec. 29.
Directed by Jeff Calhoun, the show features two local sets of tap-dancing brothers: John and Leo Manzari and newcomers and 13-year-old twins Max and Sam Heimowitz.
"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," press notes state.
“This show started with my wanting to celebrate my brother Gregory," Hines said in an earlier statement. "I read an article on tap a few years ago and his name wasn't mentioned — so wrong! But now I get the chance to 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.”
"We couldn't be more enthusiastic to welcome Maurice back to Arena Stage, as he is an important member of our tribe," artistic director Molly Smith added. "He dazzled us with his charm, charisma and flair in Sophisticated Ladies, and we expect nothing less this time around as he gives us an intimate look at his childhood growing up with his brother Gregory and their sizzling career in show business."
Hines is backed by nine members of the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, an all-female ensemble. DIVA is led by music director, drummer and longtime Hines collaborator Sherrie Maricle and features D.C.-area natives Janelle Gill (piano), Jennifer Krupa (trombone), Leigh Pilzer (baritone sax), Amy Shook (acoustic bass) and Liesl Whitaker (lead trumpet), along with Sharel Cassity (lead alto sax), Jami Dauber (trumpet) and Camille Thurman (tenor sax).
The creative team for Maurice Hines is Tappin' Thru Life includes set designer Tobin Ost, costume designer T. Tyler Stumpf, lighting designer Michael Gilliam, sound designer Carl Casella, projection designer Darrel Maloney, stage manager Kurt Hall and assistant stage manager Marne Anderson. Patti D'Beck is assistant director.
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!' She still is the reason why I cannot wait to hit the stage at Arena eight times a week!"
Visit arenastage.org for more information.