Theater: The Tap Dance Kid – Encores!

Opened: February 2, 2022

Book by: Charles Blackwell

Music by: Henry Krieger

Lyrics by: Robert Lorick

Original Encores! Cast: Tracee Beazer, Alexander Bello, DeWitt Fleming Jr., Joshua Henry, Trevor Jackson, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Chance Smith, Adrienne Walker, Crystal A. Burton, Kurt Csolak, Aniya Danée, Zachary Downer, Francine Espiritu, Izaiah Montaque Harris, Madison Hilligoss, Ben Lanham, John Manzari, Jodeci Millhouse, Dario Natarelli, Janelle Neal, Justin Prescott & Bethany Tesarck

New York City Center’s Encores! performances are known for their short rehearsal times and The Tap Dance Kid feels like most of the rehearsal time was spent on the dances and not the scene work.

10-year-old Willie (Alexander Bello) dreams of being a tap dancer like Uncle Dipsey (Trevor Jackson), but his father William (Joshua Henry) forbids it. When Willie tries out for Dipsey’s stage show, William realizes he’s lost control of his family.

Choreographed by Jared Grimes, the dancing is spectacular to watch. Bello is a gifted prodigy, and each number deserves a standing ovation.

However, the acting in between never finds its footing. Shahadi Wright Joseph’s Emma sings well, but never has emotions while speaking, while Henry’s William has one note of anger throughout.

Final say: The dancing can’t make up for the rest of the show. ★★☆☆☆

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