Have you heard the No. 1 song, “Happy” by multi-talented artist, Pharell Williams? If you have not, I would like to suggest that you do. It has the potential to raise your spirit and make you jitter bug all over the place. Well another legendary phenomenon did just that in his performance.
The stellar, Maurice Hines of the dynamic duo, Hines & Hines, brother of Gregory Hines legendary tap dancer, was light-footed, smooth and red-carpet sharp as he danced and tapped across the stage at the Woodruff Alliance Theatre. While it was not a one man show, it was obvious the audience had come to see the vibrant, class-act, when he opened up with the classic , Duke Ellington tune, (It Don’t Mean a Thing, It If Aint Got That Swing).
Tappin Thru Life, is the name and the story of the energetic Hines Brothers reminisce from the days of obscurity to opportunity. Growing up in an hard-pressed era when African Americans had the enter through the rear, sleep in sub-standard hotels and often received their food through windows; Mr. Hines stated, “Through it All, They Smiled!” He paid homage to greats like Sammy Davis Jr., who introduced he and his brother to old blues-eyes himself, Frank Sinatra and the cool Dean Martin. He spoke of extra-ordinary talent, Ms. Judy Garland, who gave them an opportunity to dance with her. Amazingly, she did not rehearse however she never missed a beat. Just raw talent! There were many others who he thanked alone the way.
I was most encouraged when he shared his big break story. After auditioning eleven times and being rejected by the gate-keepers of The Johnny Carson show, in walks the great himself. After watching them perform, he extended the duo an opportunity to appear on his program. That performance lead to 27 additional appearances and eventually they received what many desired in that era, an invitation to grace the couch with Johnny and Ed McMahon.
It was a walk down memory lane nevertheless he added a pleasant surprise, The Manzari Brothers; who recently appeared on, “So You Think You Can Dance” and countless national engagements with an extra special package, young Maika Takemoto.
Maurice tapped and entertained with elegance but all who have ever seen or heard him will always remember the love he has for his dear mother. He honored and credited her in every scene, for fostering the gift of him and his brother.
I left as came, feeling happy and encouraged to fulfill my Purpose!