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Tap Dogs

"Tap Dogs," the brainchild of Australian tap dancer Dein Perry, is a vigorously entertaining production that builds as steadily as the industrial scenery erected onstage by the six dancers and a crew of stagehands. While there is no plot per se, the distinctive identities of the dancers emerge as in one of those war movies in which each of the members of the platoon has some readily identifiable trait. Perry himself serves as the foreman of the construction crew, with the rest of the dancers made up of the shadow-boxing tough guy (Drew Kaluski); the vain "I'm too sexy for this shirt" guy (Darren Disney); the comic (Nathan Sheens), always goofing around; the daredevil (Christopher Horsey), who dances upside-down; and "the Kid" (Ben Read), whom the foreman takes under his wing.

With:
Cast: Dein Perry, Darren Disney, Christopher Horsey, Drew Kaluski, Ben Read, Nathan Sheens, Billy Burke, Jeremy Kiesman, Gil Stroming.

Each of the dancers gets his share of time in the spotlight. Horsey, for one, is hoisted feet first to the top of the construction and does his upside-down tap dance while the others hold him in place with ropes and pulleys. But most of the action comes in pairs or groups, with the half-dozen working together like a well-oiled machine.

Perry’s contribution as choreographer is well matched by that of his co-creator, Nigel Triffitt, credited with both directing the show and designing the do-it-yourself jigsaw puzzle of a set. The dance and set are so finely integrated that one number literally sends sparks flying.

David Murray’s lighting effects and the contemporary score by Andrew Wilkie are solid contributions. Performing live, and well, on platforms above the stage (and occasionally interacting with the dancers) are musicians Scott Bruce and Jason Yudoff.

Tap Dogs

New York

Production: A Back Row Prods./Peter Holmes a Court and Columbia Artists Management Inc. presentation of a musical in one act, written and choreographed by Dein Perry. Directed by Nigel Triffitt. Music, Andrew Wilkie; sets, Triffitt

Creative: Lighting, David Murray; sound, Darryl Lewis; production stage manager, Arabella Powell; associate producers, Richard Frankel, Marc Routh. Opened March 16, 1997, at Union Square Theater. Reviewed March 13; 500 seats; $35 top. Running Time: 1 HOUR, 20 MIN.

Cast: Cast: Dein Perry, Darren Disney, Christopher Horsey, Drew Kaluski, Ben Read, Nathan Sheens, Billy Burke, Jeremy Kiesman, Gil Stroming.

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