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'Pulse' features tap dance in Sarasota

Cast members Christopher Erk, left, Noah Racey and Lauralyn McClelland kick up their heels in a number from Pulse.

Asolo Repertory Theatre

Cast members Christopher Erk, left, Noah Racey and Lauralyn McClelland kick up their heels in a number from Pulse.

Song and dance — and especially tap dance — supply the material for Pulse, which is receiving its premiere at the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Conceived and choreographed by Noah Racey, whose Broadway credits range from dance roles in numerous shows to associate choreographer for Thoroughly Modern Millie, the new production has a cast of six (including Racey) and a six-piece band. The score features standards like Under My Skin, Sunny Side of the Street, Sweet Pea and Drum Crazy.

"In Pulse, the performers are also musicians using their bodies as instruments, telling a story through the beat of song and dance," Racey says. The dancers' shoes are equipped with microphones to amplify the sound of tapping on a specially constructed sprung floor that is lighted.

Jeff Calhoun, fresh off directing a couple of Frank Wildhorn flops on Broadway, Bonnie & Clyde (which had a tryout at the Asolo) and the revival of Jekyll & Hyde, as well as the more successful Newsies, is the director.

Pulse opens at 8 p.m. today and runs through June 4 at the Asolo, 5555 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. $20-$72. (941) 351-8000 or toll-free 1-800-361-8388; asolorep.org.

John Fleming, Times performing arts critic

'Pulse' features tap dance in Sarasota 05/22/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 3:48pm]
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