After 21 Years Hot Shoe Shuffle Wows Brisbane Audiences Once More.
From the onset, the creative team set the mood for the opening night of Hot Shoe Shuffle at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, with the light display on the keyboard as the air became electric with anticipation.
The story of a down and out, retired Vaudeville star who bids to reunite his family for one last hoorah and the hope of regaining the respect of his seven sons begins with the inimitable Mr Atkins as Aloysius Shyster, the attorney assigned to administer the will of the boys late father Dexter tap.
As one who was witness to the original show twenty-one years ago, it was an interesting ride to view the new version as a new work of art. The set was simple yet effective, and the costuming kept somewhat to a similar style of the original with lots of colour and flair, and while they were mostly well designed, perhaps one or two minor adjustments were needed.
Slap stick comedy was fast paced with the gags short and sharp; so much so that you did have to listen a little hard sometimes to catch them. The cast is a mix of experience and newcomers with each character well matched to the skills of the performer. Mr Bobby Fox’s experience was evident as he played the moody and somewhat bossy eldest family member Spring. As the 4 time Irish Dance Champion he swept across the stage with ease.
The stand out for me was the effervescent Mitchell Hicks in the role of Wing. From geek to intellect, he charms everyone with an infectious smile and dottiness that every mother would love. Young Mason Schaube at just seventeen years of age showed experience far beyond his years and the Dance Maestro Max Patterson made an everlasting impression for his musical debut with an energetic and lengthy solo dance routine. It left the audience wondering how one man can have so much energy and not be breathless at the end, (or without showing it at the very least).
With a hard act to follow in the role of April, previously played by our queen of tap Rhonda Burchmore, Jaz Flowers put her own stamp on the crazy and sincere character. The audience were rewarded with a rich and well trained voice.
The master Mr Atkins has done it again: A great all-tappin’-all-singin’ night of entertainment recommend for the whole family.
Hot Shoe Shuffle will play at the Lyric Theatre in QPAC until May 25.
For more information, visit the QPAC website