Imagine Tap! | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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This tap and hip-hop revue combines a chummy, down-home feeling with Broadway-echelon professionalism. The sense of community is earned: the show's 16 hoofers and 3 breakdancers lived together in apartments or houses during recent rehearsals in New York City and South Bend (where producer Cari G. Shein lives). And director-choreographer Derick K. Grant--who starred in Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk--personally brought together the nationally recognized cast. He's known Bril Barrett and Martin "Tre" Dumas III, founders of Chicago's M.A.D.D. Rhythms, for years, and asked them and 19-year-old company member Jumaane Taylor to come on board last October. The 90-minute show combines choreographed ensemble numbers with solo improvisations. (Barrett, talking about how important improv is to tap, says that M.A.D.D. Rhythms' dance academy has kids as young as five improvise, just learning to "hear rhythms and hear music.") Each of this lavish show's 16 vignettes has its own theme, set, and characters, and the original music is performed by an eight-member band and one DJ. Through 8/6: Tue 7:30 PM, Wed 2 and 7:30 PM, Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 4:30 and 8:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph, 312-334-7777 or 312-902-1500, $25-$70.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Lois Greenfield.

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