On June 25, 2016, Chicago Tap Theatre (CTT) honored the music of legendary rock band Queen with the one night only performance of We Will Tap You! A Tap Dance Celebration to the Music of Queen. The Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus, Lakeside Pride Freedom Marching Band and Chicago Spirit Brigade joined CTT in a musical tribute to Queen. It was the perfect way to celebrate Chicago Pride Parade Eve. The Athenaeum theatre was bursting with enthusiastic audience members. The sense of community was palpable.
The evening was hosted by Mattrick Swayze accompanied by his Swayzettes. The hysterical Swayze brought the comedy. As Swayze delivered his snarky witticism, his sassy sidekicks accentuated the humor with full-on attitude; hair toss, hip thrust, or sexy twist to the floor. Their shtick provided a colorful transition from act to act.
This show was a huge reminder of the contribution of Queen. Freddie Mercury would be proud of this playful salute to his career. I had plenty of favorite numbers. Bicycle had performance artist Matt Roben cleverly cycling amidst tappers Isaac Stauffer and Mark Yonally (also choreographer). Under Pressure was a tapping frenzy to the iconic tune. As the dancers tapped out the rhythm, the audience mirrored the movement by bouncing in their seats. The energy was electric. As the ideal next act, Swayze and his Swayzettes hilariously buffooned Ice, Ice Baby. This smart show played to the crowd. Before the band even started playing, Yonally had impressively tapped out Another One Bites the Dust. The band, directed by Kurt Schweitz, rocked it hard all night!
There was a lot to love in this show and it really gave off a sense of pride and community as other performance groups joined CTT on the stage. The Chicago Gay Men’s sang beautifully Somebody to Love. The Lakeside Pride Freedom Marching Band gave a spirited rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. I want this show to become a Pride Parade Eve tradition. We are the champions. And we’ll keep fighting until the end has to be an anthem of the LGBTQ community and the heart of the Pride Parade.
WE WILL TAP YOU! They said they would and they did!
Running Time: One hour and fifty-five minutes includes an intermission
Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave
Conceived by Mark Yonally
Music direction by Kurt Schweitz
Choreography by Mark Yonally, Rich Ashworth, Kirsten Uttich and Jeremy Plummer
For more information go to www.chicagotaptheatre.com or call the Chicago Tap Theatre office at 773.655.1175.
Photos by David Harmantas