By Christine Denny
(above – 2013 Hot Shoe Shuffle Cast in rehearsal)
Having seen the original Australian Hot Shoe Shuffle Cast many years ago I was absolutely thrilled to hear that the show was going out on the road again. The songs are simply infectious and the routines fantastic – the ultimate in the “toe tapping musical” – the type of musical that sees you leaving the theatre with a song in your heart and a spring in your step!
So I thought it would be great to interview a few of the cast for this particular outing of this fabulous All Aussie Musical and hear what they have to say about their involvement in this reshaping, of what is definitely an Aussie Icon: HOT SHOE SHUFFLE!
There are not many shows out there that allow a tapper to really TAP! What is your favourite tap routine in the show and why?
ALEXANDER KERMOND (ZAN): ‘Little Brown Jug. The style and era will simply never grow old. Having such a classic song the tap looks so effortless. I love the class and having the “Big Band” onstage with us.’
BOBBY FOX: ‘I love the “Tap Jam”. The boys all get to rock out these special moves.’
LUKE ALLEVA: ‘I love “Puttin’ on the Ritz”. It’s such a classy routine. It’s great to finally dance with canes and do so many amazing tricks. There’s nothing better than to be wearing a tail suit, top hat and wing tip tap shoes.’
You are all great tappers, but your backgrounds are incredibly diverse – so tell us your stories and what led you to being a part of Hot Shoe Shuffle for 2013!
ZAN: ‘I’ve grown up in a showbiz family, so have been surrounded all my life. Tap is definitely one of my favourite styles of dance. The music/style/era and slapstick is so rare these days to see onstage live.’
BOBBY:‘ I’m an Irish dancer from way back who came to Australia and started my career in musical theatre.’
LUKE: ‘Well, Drew Anthony and Christine Denny were my tap teachers, and really taught me the extra tools to break through to the next professional level as a tapper.’
The original Aussie Cast of Hot Shoe are quite renowned and somewhat legendary. Do you feel any pressure to measure up? Did you have a favourite? And how are you making the roles your own?
ZAN: ‘Playing the role of TIP which was originally played by Chris Horsey. I have known Chris since I was a kid and have worked with him in the past it is a privilege to follow in the footsteps of one of Australia’s most renowned tap dancers.’
BOBBY: ‘No pressure at all. Just want to do the best I can do with what I’ve got. My favorite original cast member would have to be Dein Perry’
LUKE: ‘I think you always feel pressure, but try to give your own experience and flavour to the show. I saw the original show when I was 12 years old and David Atkins was definitely a performer I looked up to and still do… It’s an honor to be working with David.’
The music in HOT SHOE is just amazing….there are so many well-known songs. Were you familiar with the tunes prior to the show and what is your favourite song in the show and why?
ZAN: ‘Growing up on classic movies I do know many of the songs. My fav song would be “The song and dance man” which spring performers for it reminds me of my pop (Wayne Kermond) and all of the song and dance men over the years such as, Sammy Davis Jnr, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson to name a few.’
BOBBY: ‘I didn’t really know the music. I love “Shall we dance”. So complex and simple at the same time.’
LUKE: ‘I’m very familiar with the songs in the show; I’ve grown up listening to all of them. The style of the show is what I try to aspire in my career and feel most comfortable. I haven’t got a favorite. They are all amazing songs.’
A lot of people will be waiting to see the infamous “ tap trucks” and the cane sequence………how has it been perfecting these routines that require such precision and good fortune ha ha ha? Any funny stories to share?
ZAN: ‘Dein Perry has taken us under his wings, throughout these routines, so we are definitely on track! Besides a few funny falls and canes flying through the air, nothing out of the ordinary.’
BOBBY: ‘Well I sweat like a champion so I think I’ve lost about 10kg already.’
LUKE: ‘They’re both very grueling routines. Canes flying everywhere and many bruises etc. I have never sweat as much as I have in this show.’
And finally – who is your favourite tapper – from the past or the present – and why?
ZAN: ‘Hot Shoe Shuffle is immensely based on the infamous ‘Nicholas Brothers’ which I have followed and loved watching over the years. But that is one of many that I love.’
BOBBY: ‘Gene Kelly. Coolest man ever when he danced.’
LUKE: ‘Yes, for sure … Gene Kelly. He is such an amazing icon and legend for both stage and screen. Amazing stage presence and when he dances he looks effortless.’
So there you have it – the low down from three of the 2013 HOT SHOE SHUFFLE CAST!
If you don’t have tickets already, then jump on line and get some.
It is sure to be a toe tapping god time for the whole family
(Christine Denny is the Creator and Director of Tapatak Oz, an examiner, teacher, tapper, adjudicator and freelance writer)
See our related story here: https://www.dancelife.com.au/david-atkins-hot-shoe-shuffle-anniversary-tour/
HOT SHOE SHUFFLE opens in May … see all details below or at…
Brisbane from 4th May- BUY TICKETS NOW HERE
Sydney from 6th July – WAIT LIST TO BUY TICKETS UNTIL 25 FEBRUARY HERE
Melbourne from 10th August – WAIT LIST TO BUY TICKETS UNTIL 2 MARCH HERE