Bootmen | Chicago Reader


Director Dein Perry—creator of Tap Dogs, a live tap show that's toured the world since premiering in 1995—was once a machinist in Newcastle, Australia, just like the main character of this formula dance drama. Sean (Adam Garcia) is asked to join the chorus of a big-city tap show right when he reaches a turning point in his personal life—he can't continue to be promiscuous if he's to undergo character development. The other main obstacle to a promising new relationship is his brother Mitch, a talented tap dancer in his own right, who's in love with the same woman. Though he and Sean manage to keep sibling rivalry out of the dance studio as Sean begins to choreograph his own show, Mitch's shady dealings in stolen auto parts bring on a hot-rod-and-dirt-bike chase and tons of industrial-strength pathos. But precision-edited tap extravaganzas—which must be far more exciting live—are the point here. The dancers wear work boots fitted with heavy metal cleats, and the numbers, set in industrial environments, are accompanied by retrograde metal music and the sound of heavy machinery. Written by Steve Worland; with Sam Worthington. 93 min.

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