Apr 10, 2011
Josh Hilberman, Dance Inn Productions, and the Regent Theatre present…
This year the Boston-area celebration of International Tap Dance Day recognizes an adult tap student, Lois O’Hara, who for 20 years has been a hilarious and spirited member of the New England tap community. Last spring when Lois was given a lousy medical diagnosis of irreversible lung disease, the tap community began looking for ways to help.
Dancers and musicians from New England, New York, and Europe have volunteered to perform in this one-night only spectacular—not a fundraiser or a benefit—but a gift concert conceived by local dancer Josh Hilberman to acknowledge Lois’ tremendous and energetic 20-year participation in classes, workshops, festivals, jams, and performances. Produced with major help from Thelma Goldberg and Dance Inn Productions, and Blues songstress Little Rose, the evening promises something for everyone!
Lois’ dream line-up illustrates how many people and communities one dancer has touched:
New York City: Brenda Bufalino, one of the true pioneers of modern tap, and producer Tony Waag (‘the pied piper of tap dance,”—New York Times) represent New York, along with two former Bostonians: acclaimed film choreographer Kelly Kaleta; and the dynamic Ryan Casey who was a featured performer on the hit TV show, “So You Think You Can Dance.” Rounding out the New Yorkers are Lynn Schwab—in demand as a fantastic concert dancer and Broadway Dance Center favorite teacher—and Massachusetts native and New York City Tap icon Barbara Duffy.
Germany: International tap icons Tap and Tray—the extraordinary duo of Kurt Albert and Klaus Bleis—heard about the concert and volunteered to travel over from Europe to participate in this event.
New England: Lois O’Hara first came onto the tap scene at Ryles Jazz Club, watching the collective Stoptime—Josh Hilberman, long-time expert Julia Boynton, Maine’s Drika Overton, and New Hampshire’s Gay Nardone—who will all be performing. Sean Fielder, a Bostonian who made his fame in
Broadway’s “Noise/Funk,” and a favorite of Lois, brings his amazing solo artistry to the show. Dianne “Lady Di” Walker is ‘schedule permitting,’ but we suspect her schedule will permit. Bamidele Dancers and Drummers, from Western Massachusetts and Guinea, Africa, come to honor Lois from their days together at the Portsmouth Percussive Dance Festival.
On an average Monday night you will find Lois hard at work at the Dance Inn, in class with co-producer and favorite teacher Thelma Goldberg, working with the About Time Tappers and the Legacy Dancers. Both ‘home’ groups will be represented in the concert.
Lois’ selection of musicians includes two wonderful pianists, tap icon Paul Arslanian and local jazz master Yoko Miwa; Berklee’s Herman Hampton on bass; Scott Goulding on drums; and tap favorite Jorge Perez- Albela on percussion. Local blues vocalist Little Rose rounds out the accompaniment, cooking up some surprises for the night.
Lois was recognized by New York’s Tap City with a first-time award in the summer of 2010, acknowledging she and her tap buddy Avis as fervent supporters. Now Boston gets a chance to celebrate her as well, with a collection of dynamic, contemporary, talented artists who will surely produce a night to remember.
Click here for detailed bios on all Lois’ Tap Lane participants: http://www.danceinnproductions.org/bios.htm
“Lois’ Tap Lane” All-Star Tap and Jazz Salute will be presented at the historic Regent Theatre—“Arlington’s Show Place of Entertainment”—7 Medford Street (off Mass. Ave.) in Arlington Center on Friday, May 13, 2011 at 8pm. Reserved seats are $28 ($24 for students, seniors, and groups). The Regent is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking in a municipal lot across the street. For tickets and more info visit regenttheatre.com or call 781-646-4849.