Tap dance spectacular to hot shoe it back on stage

Dance musical Hot Shoe Shuffle, first staged in 1992, returns in 2013.
Dance musical Hot Shoe Shuffle, first staged in 1992, returns in 2013.

QUEENSLAND theatre-goers will be the first to see the revival of the hit tap-dance musical Hot Shoe Shuffle.

The 21st anniversary production will debut at Brisbane's QPAC in May next year, before continuing to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

"We've been toying with the idea of bringing the show back for a while," said creator David Atkins.

"We decided to give it one last outing in Australia."

Hot Shoe Shuffle tells the story of the Tap Brothers - Spring, Slap, Buck, Wing, Tip, Tap and Slide - who can only receive  the inheritance left to them by their long-absent father by performing his legendary act with their long-lost sister April.

The Laurence Olivier and ARIA Award-winning production paved the way for shows like Tap Dogs.

The show's revival will also see Atkins return to the stage for the first time in more than a decade.

"Ironically the idea to come back means that I'll be playing the father (Dexter) of the character I played 20 years ago," he said.

"I'm quite looking forward to it.

"It's nowhere near as strenuous as the role I played 20 years ago, so I feel I can still get my tap shoes on and do it justice."

Hot Shoe Shuffle creator and star David Atkins.
Hot Shoe Shuffle creator and star David Atkins.

Atkins and original co-choreographer Dein Perry will be updating the show's dance numbers to reflect the skills of today's performers.

"The level of tap dance has really increased and the level of training has changed dramatically," he said.

"The skills of today's performers are, dare I say, greater than ours were."

Jersey Boys star Bobby Fox, who played Frankie Valli in the Sydney and Melbourne seasons, will play Spring.

"I had seen him, as most people had, in Jersey Boys," Atkins said.

"We found out anecdotally - it's not something he's promoted much - that he was a champion Irish dancer. He came to the auditions and he had fantastic tap dance skills. It was a real surprise.

"The combination of his vocal prowess, his popularity from Jersey Boys and the fact that he's a secret tap dancer was a great coincidence."

Hairspray star and The Voice contestant Jaz Flowers will play April.

"When I auditioned her for Hairspray, she went through the whole process and at the very end after she was cast she came up to me and said 'I've got to tell you, when I was five years old the first show I saw was Hot Shoe Shuffle'," Atkins said.

"Her mum is a dance teacher, so she actually grew up training as tap dancer and jazz dancer. She's got a really good pedigree." 

Hot Shoe Shuffle opens at QPAC's Lyric Theatre on May 4, 2013.

Tickets start from $69.90 and go on sale on Monday through QPAC. To book ring 136 246 or go to the QPAC website.

Topics:  qpac's lyric theatre

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