Fifty years into a magnificent career that has garnered nine Tony Awards and a National Medal of Arts, the one and only Tommy Tune stepped out on the stage of Strathmore yesterday and proved with every single step he took, note he sang, and word he spoke – exactly why he is the Broadway legend that he is. He’s the real deal.
Tune is on tour starring in Tommy Tune Steps in Time: A Broadway Biography in Song and Dance, a delightful and perfectly paced biographical song and dance review of his fascinating life and career. With Tune front and center, backed by the multi-talented Manhattan Rhythm Kings, and first-class music direction by Michael Biagi, the show is packed to the brim with ninety minutes of pure entertainment, and it leaves the audience loving Broadway, loving dance, and loving Tommy Tune both as a dancer and as a friend.
From the opening Lieber/Stoller tune “I’ve Got Them Feelin’ Too Good Today Blues,” to tapping to “I Got Rhythm’ and “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise,” Tommy Tune and The Manhattan Rhythm Kings tap their hearts out and are repeatedly rewarded with standing ovations and cheering applause.
Tune helps his audience relate to what it must have been like to be the child and the teen he was growing up in Texas. He tells a humorous story about a young moth who dares to dream of flying all the way to the stars, and who lives a long and full life trying to get there, while the rest of his family and friends, as well as many other non-believing and critical moths, meet an early and scorching demise as a result of hanging around too many lamp posts. The lesson is clear, but the story is all in fun, and Tune enjoys sharing that his first Broadway directing and choreography credits came in the form of a show called The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and that even his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is centered between two other stars with references to Texas.
When it comes to dancing Tommy Tune has it all. In this show, he demonstrates how less, with more energy, more focus, and more nuance, becomes more. It’s clear he can go either way at will, and he leaves no doubt that what looks easy is often more difficult. It is simply a joy to see such elegance and grace on a stage. Tune’s routines are fabulous, and when he dances with the Rhythm Kings, the crowd goes wild. The footwork is incredible, and the physical spacing is always right on. These routines are so good that that they allow Tune to easily transport the audience back and forth between retrospective and Broadway at will.
Tommy Tune proves over and over that he deserves every accolade that has come his way. He’s a consummate artist who sings, dances, choreographs, and directs. Inch by inch by five foot seventeen and three quarters, he’s Broadway at its very best.
The Music Center at Strathmore – 5301 Tuckerman Lane, in North Bethesda, MD.
Click here to purchase tickets online or call (301) 581-5100.
The Music Center at Strathmore
5301 Tuckerman Lane
North Bethesda, MD
Tommy Tune interviews with Joel Markowitz.