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What did you think of Tappin’ Thru Life: An Evening with Maurice Hines?


Did you enjoy Tappin’ Thru Life: An Evening with Maurice Hines? Were you thrilled by the guided tour Hines took us on through these songs and stories? Did you marvel at the top-notch tap talent on display? Did the Big Band music speak to you? We’d love to hear your feedback on this production and anything related to the topic by leaving a comment here.


  1. Jane D. BenjaminMay 15, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    My partner and I were both extremely disappointed. While Maurice was dapper and charming, we expected him to tap much more than he did. In fact, he did, very little tapping. Whilethe guests he had were extraordinary, we signed on to see him tap not others…. Unless he would’ve tapped with them. Which he did not. Again, while he was charming and his stories intriguing – those we could hear because the miching was so poor (and we were in Row D) his singing was not particularly good. While we enjoyed seeing an icon to be sure, we felt our money would have been better spent at some other production in the future or at seeing something else at another venue.
    Btw The band was fabulous and really carried the show!

    • The man is 70 years old. I was completely impressed, not only by his ability to tap dance *at all,* but by the energy and charisma he carried the entire show with. Even if he was much younger, I’d still be impressed. The man is a super human!

    • David BrennerMay 17, 2013 at 8:48 am

      I agree in general with Jane:

      – The show is called “Tappin’ Thru Life”, not Singin’ or Swingin’ Thru Life – yet it was mostly singing and band music.
      – Maurice is a charming man, but not a great singer. More dancing, by him or guests, would have improved the show.
      – The acoustics from the first row on the singer’s mike were awful – too much reverb creating a muddy sound, and making lyrics difficult to understand (it didn’t help that Maurice doesn’t have a big voice – the loud brass and wind band instruments, with their stronger sound at the source, fared better).

  2. Heather HoffmanMay 15, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I had a great time. Sure, I would have loved to see Maurice Hines tap more, but what he did was wonderful, and it’s a pleasure to see the future of tap on stage in the same show. What I’d really like to know is where that young girl came from. She seems to have been a last-minute addition, and what an addition! I’d go see this show again.

    • Sara Bookin-WeinerMay 16, 2013 at 11:31 am

      Glad you enjoyed the show! Grace came to our attention because of Sean Fielder with the Boston Tap Company, one of our community catalysts. Maurice likes to incorporate local talent wherever he goes, and loved the idea of bringing Grace on to join John and Leo Manzari as the next generation of tappers.

  3. Linzy EmeryMay 16, 2013 at 11:32 am

    We LOVED the show! And those sitting near us said they did as well. I brought my daughter and her friend, both tap dancers. We loved the big band and their enthusiasm, the band solos, and we especially loved how Maurice Hines brought in the amazing brothers Leo and John Manzari and the very special Grace Cannady. We were inspired and impressed with the way the various elements —- big band, guest dancers, informal story-telling, tributes to the giants of an era — were brought together to make a very special show.

  4. Sue StahlMay 16, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Hines has amazing stage presence. The evening was a pleasure. Berkeley’s band is a gem. The dancers, all, were terrific.
    Love hearing the pieces of The American Song Book.

  5. Parmie PolkMay 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Yes, I enjoyed the show and was pleasantly surprised, by the Big Band. They were exciting and I truly enjoyed snapping and singing along. I was expecting to see more tapping from Maurice, but was very impressed with his energy and charm. He was Superb for a man his age! The overall choreography of his show was entertaining, the way he incorporated family photos and the stories behind them was a nice touch. I was looking forward to seeing The Manzari brothers again. I was not disappointed. They are captivating and phenomenal tappers, not to mention very down to earth and pleasant. I enjoyed speaking with them. Grace Cannady, the added attraction was amazing and charming as well. I loved her stage presence and could watch her again and again. Kudos, to the Boston Tap Company.

  6. Levi AdamsMay 17, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    This show was a birthday gift from me to my wife, Jeanne. We both enjoyed it so much. Maurice’s song selections and his recalling performances at the Apollo evoked so many memories! When he sang Frank Sinatra’s “All The Way”, it was the consumate tribute to us both – because I sang that song at our May 18, 1958 wedding . What an early Anniversary present!

    Although we expected more tappin’ , we were not disappointed. The band was outstanding (even if the piano player showed little emotion); and the young Tap Dancers persuaded us that the future is full of promise. Finally, the Majestic Theater is opulent and a real statement about Emerson.

  7. MTurnbullMay 18, 2013 at 11:23 am

    The advertising for this show was very deceptive and led patrons to expect an evening of tap dancing. I was very upset for most of the show that there was no dancing. I was also embarrassed as I had talked 3 friends into coming with me. Nobody was very happy with what the show was for the first half.
    The dancing once it appeared was excellent and enjoyable. The songs were memorable and evoked memories of an earlier time.

    But the ads for this show led all to believe we were getting a lot of dancing. Very deceptive. I will think twice before venturing back for one of your shows based on the way you advertised this show.

  8. Chris SummerfieldMay 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    I attended Tappin’ thru Life with family and friends, all of whom have some background inn theater or music. Everyone took away something different from the performance, and I regard that as a tribute to the design and direction of the program. For me, the shining stars of the program were the Berklee Jazz Orchestra and the guest tappers (the Manzari brothers and the young female taper), each, both and all of whom were “better than Broadway” and mind-altering amazing. Maurice Hines provided the context that made all of this possible, and his story, song and limited dancing were much appreciated. We all took away a respect for his craft and life’s work, and we didn’t expect or demand a leading tap (or vocal) performance from him. Without the Manzari brothers and the surprise performance by a budding young tapper from The Boston Tap Company, the show would have been merely “an mildly interesting but overlong story accompanied by an amazing jazz band”. The billing for this show may have mislead some members of the audience to expect Maurice to be the virtuosic lead of show, the starring attraction. Beyond the billing, beyond the headlines is a “best in class” (any class) performance by an amazingly skillful jazz band and some hoofers that are purely “out o’ sight”.

  9. Anthony SilvaMay 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Maurice Hines is a wonderfully classic showman, the Berklee band was powerful & professional and the guest dancers provided much needed energy but this program did not amount to what was advertised. It was not an evening of “Tappin’ Thru Life.” And Maurice is not a strong singer, especially with such a powerful band behind him. More dancing, by Maurice or others, was needed.

  10. Pamela KaufmannMay 20, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    I brought my just about 13 year old grandson and we both thought the show was outstanding. Yes, we too commented that Maurice didn’t do as much tapping as we expected. However, the quality of the show – the staging, the Berklee Big Band, the Manzari Brothers and Grace as well as the songs were all a delight. We have attended several shows at the Cutler Majestic Theatre and continue to be so impressed with the restoration in restoring the grandeur of the theatre. A perfect setting for this show.

  11. I also thought Maurice would tap more but it didn’t matter, I was so entertained by this talented guy. The dancing he did was enough to showcase his talents and his guest tappers were so fun and entertaining. It is easy to see what professionals saw years ago when he was just a child. He is a natural. And natural across the board……dancer, singer, entertainer, (comedian!). He embraced the audience and the talented musicians who worked with him and performed with such enthusiasm, like it was his first time on stage. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and would not hesitate to go back and see him if he performed again in Boston.


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