Regional Reviews: Florida - Southern
Hot Shoe Shuffle
With storyline and concept by David Atkins and Max Lambert and book by Larry Buttrose and Kathryn Riding, Hot Shoe Shuffle begins with a montage of scenes from the 1940s that pay tribute to dance and more dance. And just before you tire of the extended intro, we meet the seven Tap Brothers: Spring (Sean McGibbon), Slap (Michael M. Sakelos), Buck (Thomas Sutter), Wing (Kurt Csolak), Tip (Austin Carroll), Tap (Jonathan Eisele), and Slide (Jared Alexander), all clad in Jim Buff's colorful and garish costumes. While the get-ups fit the personalities of the characters, when placed against the backdrop of Michael Versetti's elaborate and stylish set pieces, the scenes beg for contrast when the visuals start to blend together. Nothing and no one can be highlighted when everything in those moments is bright.
Luckily, the superb dancing of each of the actors goes on to distinguish one from the other. Following their spirited and skillful intro, we learn that the brothers are gathered together to find out about the sizable inheritance left by their estranged and deceased father. In order to obtain the moola, they have to perform their dad's show Hot Shoe Shuffle in just four weeks. The smaller problem is that they need an actress to star in the show. Before you say "wherever will they find one?" with chin in hand, their long-lost and supposed unknown sister April (Alex Kidder) pops in to assume her place. The bigger problem? Though sweet as pie and pretty to boot, April has two left feet. How will they get her ready in time? The hows and the how nots that follow may not always make sense, but they make for a funny and lighthearted time.
From lights up to lights down, Hot Shoe Shuffle keeps the laughs and the oohs and ahs coming, with flips, tricks, and everything in between. Choreographed masterfully by Justin M. Lewis and directed by Jonathan Van Dyke, the septet shine together just as well as they do in their solo work. As to be expected, the dancing surpasses the singing in this dance-centric show, but Kidder's vocals soar and ring with such clarity that they cannot be denied. Kidder is a stunning songstress who breathes life into the American big band standards that are interspersed throughout the show. And to round everything out, the pizzazz of the 10-piece live orchestra draws the audience deeper into the show within the show.
Hot Shoe Shuffle is a dynamic and energetic showcase for its cast and a comedic treat for its patrons. After two hours, with a 15-minute intermission, you're likely to exit happier than when you first walked in.
Hot Shoe Shuffle runs through November 10, 2019, at the Wick Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton FL. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets $75-85. For tickets and information, visit www.thewick.org or call 561-995-2333.