Hayes Theatre Co, August 2
If you want to see some exhilarating tap dancing then look no further than The Tap Pack.
Jesse Rasmussen, Jordan Pollard and Thomas J Egan created the show as a vehicle for the tap-dancing prowess of themselves and their fellow performers Ben Brown and Christopher Horsey – and on this front it certainly delivers.
But even though the production has been in development for a while now, and had performances last year, the story they have written as a framework for the dancing still needs work.
Directed and co-created by Nigel Turner-Carroll, The Tap Pack opens with cocky Aussie busker Blue (Rasmussen) doing his thing to raise the funds to get to New York and meet his idols Fiveplay, a Rat Pack-style act he dreams of performing with. Rasmussen quickly has the audience clapping along.
In New York, Blue encounters Fiveplay, now reduced to Fourplay (yeah, we get it). Led by the hard-drinking Marty (Horsey), the sole surviving original member, the act is well past its use-by date. Blue could help them reboot their show, the other boys are excited, but Marty is resistant and, well……. you know how it turns out.
The plot is slight, the characters are fairly under-developed and the story is corny and predictable, with some silly sight gags involving a chain saw and some goggles as well as some slightly blue humour. There’s the germ of a great show here. The boys have plenty of charm and they can certainly dance, they just need a sharper, wittier script.
However, with a six-piece band led by musical director Michael Dench on keyboards, the music is hot and Brown delivers some strong vocals. But it’s the tight, terrific dancing that really kicks The Tap Pack over the line.
The show ends on a high as the boys bust out their best moves to finish with a spectacular, extended tap routine that sends the audience home happy. Fantapstic!
The Tap Pack plays at the Hayes Theatre Co until August 17. Bookings: www.hayestheatre.com.au
A version of this review appeared in the Sunday Telegraph on August 10