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Posts Tagged ‘Michela Marino Lerman’

There are some great ingredients to this show – Fats Waller’s music, a fine band, excellent vocalists and some brilliant tap dancing – but the problem with this homage to Waller is that it doesn’t know what it is.

There’s an MC, some of whose contributions are biographical, some rather clumsy and some downright baffling. There isn’t enough biographical material to make it a musical biography, so the morsels just leave you wanting more. The tap dancing of Michela Marino Lerman and Joseph Wiggan is terrific, but I’m not sure why it’s in the show (apart from the fact the producer is connected with the American Tap Dance Foundation and one of the dancers co-conceived the show!). The music is superb, with the vocals of Lillias White particularly stunning, but she only has four songs.

There’s much to enjoy, but it doesn’t really hang together; it’s a bit of a rag-bag. The stage was too small for the show and when all eleven performers were on it, boy was it cramped. With only 80 minutes playing time, the interval was a bit pointless (except to increase bar sales) and interrupted the flow of the piece. To be honest I’d have preferred either a concert or a meatier biographical show. When they ended with Ain’t Misbehavin’, it served to remind me of that earlier show and what this could have been.

Suspend disbelief and just go for some great music and terrific tap dancing.

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