P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2002
December 31, 2002
Hot Shot Hoofer Brings Tap Theater Adventure to MASS MoCA
(North Adams, Mass.)Thaddeus Phillips, last seen at MASS MoCA as the tap-dancing secretary in Robert LePage's Geometry of Miracles, returns to North Adams on Friday, January 31, at 8:00 PM to present his one-man tap tour de force, Lost Soles. Feet are important in Lost Soles, and Phillips puts his on display with a unique stage that places his lightning-fast footwork at the audience's eye level, giving them a straight-on view of his nimble technique. While tap dancing is a core element of the evening, Lost Soles is a full-blown theater piece inspired by Phillips' mentor, Cuban tapper Jimmy Payne. The Village Voice called it "ingenious" and continued, "Phillips taps so fast his feet are almost a blur, but each sound is as distinct and startling as the crack of a bullet."
Philadelphia City Paper reviewed Lost Soles saying, "Thaddeus Phillips' tap-dancing saga of a trip to Cuba is both play and virtuosic dancing, a one-man show in every sense of the word ö he wrote it, he performs it, he handles the light and the clever props, he shot the video, created the set and the costumes, and acts in Spanish and in English, in wigs and tux and a variety of old and new tap shoes. All at the same time. The show's charm is irresistible and Lost Soles shouldn't be missed. It is rare to see so much talent and imagination crammed into such a small space and in such a short show."
The play centers on a young tap dancer, The Wyoming Wonder whose tap-dancing career ends with a spiteful review. "Who," the critic wonders nastily, "taught this kid to dance?" The show then shows us: his first tap teacher, Dottie in Wyoming; an old Jew obsessed with teaching the geometry of tap; and an old Cuban who tells how he would have tapped all over Havana if his mother hadn't brought him to this "stupid country", all played with a flair and quick costume changes by Phillips. After the devastating review, the dancer flees to Cuba, but his shuffling-off is ill-timed -- it is 1963, the beginning of the U.S. embargo. He fails to get work in casinos, as they have been closed by Castro, and then he loses his passport, making it impossible for him to return. Thirty-seven years later the CIA sends a bumbling agent after him, needing a "man in Havana."
The show is set on an elevated stage with a space in the middle into which Phillips disappears for costume and scene changes. The Philadelphia Inquirer said, "It proves an amusing vehicle to show off Phillips' flair for theatricality, his ability to play a bunch of colorful roles; ranging from a female dance teacher to a cigar-chomping Cuban immigration officer to an incompetent CIA guy."
Philipps studied directing and puppetry at the Theater Faculty in Prague and drama at Colorado College. He created solo object theatre performances of King Lear (on a mini-golf course) and The Tempest (in a child's swimming pool) which have played in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, New Haven and Colorado Springs. He created Men have called me mad: an Edgar Allan Poe Love Story and The Earth's Sharp Edge, a solo show inspired by the writings of Paul Bowles and William S. Burroughs set in Tangier. He directed and designed Peer Gynt and American Buffalo. As an actor he appeared in Kafka's Amerika at the Southwark Playhouse in London, and he toured internationally with Robert LePage's Geometry of Miracles. He studied tap dance in Chicago with Jimmy Payne.
Lost Soles is sponsored by Classical Tents and Party Goods. The Alternative Cabaret Series is sponsored by Barrington Brewery.
Tickets to Lost Soles are $12 in advance or $14 day of show. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located on Marshall Street in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. every day but Tuesday. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or online at www.massmoca.org at any time of day.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
MASS MoCA 1040 MASS MoCA Way North Adams, MA 01247 413.MOCA.111 www.massmoca.org
For Immediate Release