Chicago Tap Theatre presented TIDINGS FOR TAP.
For one performance only on December 15th, the holiday season was celebrated with joy, reverence and dance.TIDINGS FOR TAP split the show into four parts: winter, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Each segment paid tribute to its seasonal essences. Although the primary focus was tap, the talented Dasha Merkulova performed ballet and rhythmic gymnastics. She added an elegant grace in contrast to the peppy hoofing.
The winter segment had the tappers simulating snowfall, skating and a sleigh ride. The vibe was playful as they swayed and pranced all while tapping. (The athleticism of these dancers is impressive). The Hanukkah portion was infused with the traditional music and folk dancing attributed to the Jewish culture. During a short sequence, six gents doing midair splits and amazing high kick moves received thunderous applause for their efforts.
After intermission, the crew celebrated Christmas by dancing to familiar carols. One of the cute bits was to the theme song to “The Grinch”. The dancers wore sour pusses and their hoofing took a decidedly somber stomp. It will be particularly notable by fans of Chicago Tap Theatre because the ensemble led by Mark Yonally are always smiling. It’s their hallmark merriment that is so enticing during a performance. Their Grinch-like persona during this number is light-hearted gloom. Cue the lovely Merkulova! She arrives to turn those frowns upside down and prompt the holiday frolicking to continue.
NYE is next! The dancers commemorate the end of a year with the familiar Auld Lang Syne and other New Year’s Eve tunes. The spirited finales takes us into CTT’s signature Shim Sham. During the Shim Sham at the end of any performance, CTT invites everyone onstage to dance the last dance. At this show, the stage was bursting with wannabe tappers, young and old. The feel good spectacle illustrated what we should all do this holiday season… Dance, dance, dance!
Running Time: One hundred minutes includes an intermission
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie
Story inspired by Marc Kelly Smith
Directed by Billy Siegenfeld
Choreographed by Caleb Teicher, Billy Siegenfeld, Kirsten Uttich, Mark Yonally