Having loved the original version 21 years ago, stepping out to the opening of Sydney’s Hot Shoe Shuffle on Saturday night was both a trip down
memory lane and a chance to freshly appreciate the brilliance of David Atkins’ as Australia’s original song and dance man.
Hot Shoe Shuffle – 21st anniversary version – delivers the magic and dazzle of good old authentic song and dance with the added bonus of technical advances in gauged special effects. Audience member, Robert Russell, said the “technological advances over the past 21 years only add to an already great show!”
With explosive tap rhythms from the ‘Tap Brothers’ led by Bobby Fox, the dance content is both challenging and spectacularly delivered.
Jazz Flowers as ‘April’ is voluptuously engaging as her vocals soar through timeless tracks such as Long Ago, Far Away and How Long Has This Been Going On.
For me, pinnacle show-stealing moments were those when David Atkins took the stage to perform. David, who thrilled us throughout the 80’s and 90’s as a performer in numerous musicals such as A Chorus Line and Cats; and as a producer of original works such as Dancin’ Man, Dynamite, and Hot Shoe Shuffle, still has a twinkle in his eye when he taps that first beat and sings his first note.
Kelley Abbey said at intermission, ‘when David started to perform, I started to get a bit teary … ‘ – I had to agree!
The Aussie tap musical that came before Tap Dogs and The Boy from Oz, follows the story of the Tap Brothers as they set about fulfilling their father’s final wish for them to perform the Hot Shoe Shuffle. With humour, obvious camaraderie and exceptional talent, the entire cast deliver a spectacular show that has the audience spontaneously standing to applaud throughout the final scenes and thunderously as the final curtain falls.
We caught up with David Atkins just before the opening and he was clearly happy to be bringing the show back to his home town of Sydney.
“We’ve got the luxury of having done the show for four weeks already in Brisbane. The show is in good shape. Obviously every theatre is different … this one is more intimate so it will have a different feel. To be home in Sydney is great… There is nothing better than home and, you know, there is a great buzz around having it on in Sydney because that’s where it started all those years ago”.
“This show has a history of the performers becoming very dedicated to it and really quite passionate about it. It’s a small group, there are only 12 of us up there, everyone knows everyone and the boys on stage have to relate as brothers and they tend to form great alliances off stage as well. Bobby and Jazz are exemplary; I couldn’t ask for two better performers, we are just blessed to have them in the show!”
Despite Hot Shoe’ being set in the 1940’s with hits of the big band era and slapstick comedy, younger audiences are loving the show. “There is a lot of old fashioned theatre attached to the show which a lot of them weren’t familiar with and they got great enjoyment in seeing the way the show is performed”, said David.
Ramon Doringo from Sydney Dance Company said, “This show brings back a lot of memories, but it’s a different generation of dancers … seeing David Atkins playing the role of Max King/Dexter Tap was great … It’s the best show I’ve seen this year! It’s just very entertaining! I would recommend it to every one who loves musical theatre – it brings back the magic!’
Kate Kermond said, “As a mum, I am so proud! Relieeeeved, because that second act is just phenomenal, so hard, and every person on that stage tonight just shone, they worked so hard!”. (Zan Kermond plays ‘Tip’).
Brad Green (VPAC) said, “Hot Shoe Shuffle has brought back the reason I love musical theatre … A fabulous night of song and dance with a story portrayed by some wonderful triple threats… Show stopping performances by Max Patterson whose solo was ridiculous!!!! Jaz Flowers and Bobby Fox and let’s not forget the original song and dance man himself Mr David Atkins. Congrats to all involved I LOVED it!!! Tap is back…”
Hot Shoe Shuffle plays for just four weeks in Sydney before moving to other states – get your tickets now!