Wednesday January 18th 2017

“Time Steps” review by Carol Moore

Time-Steps_Postcard-Front-for-Eblast_Medium-Size-196x272Recommended *****I don’t know what I was expecting when I went to see Chicago Tap Theatre’s “Time Steps”, but it sure wasn’t the beautiful, evocative and emotional story dance I saw.  This is not the tap you’ll see/hear in a Broadway musical like “42nd Street”.  In fact, it sounds more like the sounds Irish dancing produces in “Riverdance”.  A cast of 12 incredibly talented dancers perform in one an amazingly creative dance/theater merge.  It’s truly a shame the run is so short.   “Time Steps” gets 4 Spotlights.

The beginning of “Time Steps” is stunningly beautiful.  With haunting playing in the background, six dancers, Aimee Chase, Sarah Owens, Andi Bissen, Kelsey Schlabaugh, Jamie Salas and Jessica Williams, tap their way on stage.  As Carla (Jennifer Pfaff Yonally) stands suspended inside a circle of moving light, the dance patterns move from circling her to linear formations and back again.  Their tapping reminded me of time ticking away.  Carla’s occasional movements seemed to be almost in slow motion.  Rays of blue light washed over the dancers while moving time lines were projected on either side of the stage.

The Old-Time Salesman (Marc Kelly Smith) is also the narrator of the story, providing names and motivations for the principal dancers.  He begins the story with a wealthy young man, Argile Ribbit (Mark Yonally), who was desperate to find the girl he loves and change their shared past, he paid the Old-Time Salesman, a huckster extraordinaire, again and again for the chance to take a trip back in time.

While Argile is searching for Carla, she meets up with Natalie (Kirsten Uttich) and Sergio (Isaac Stauffer), a couple willing to try anything wild.  They take her to a Carnival! in Barcelona where a mysterious Dark Figure (Aric Barrow) entices her.  When Argile spots her, they enjoy each other, but then Natalie and Sergio return, taking her into the Casino.  There Natalie wins but when the Dark Figure encourages Carla to try her luck, she loses.                                                            TimeSteps1

I noticed that this ensemble wears a different kind of tap shoe, oxford style rather than Mary Jane.  They are a lot like the shoes the dancers in Riverdance wear, but without the reinforced toes.TimeSteps2

Chicago Tap Theatre’s “Time Steps” runs through April 10th at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, Chicago.

Running time is 75 minutes, no intermission.

TimeSteps3Performances are Friday at 8:00

Saturday at 3:00 and 7:30 pm

Sunday at 3:00 pm.

Tickets range from $23-$35. Valet parking is available. FYI (773) 327-5252, www.stage773.com, (773) 655-1175 or www.chicagotaptheatre.com/time-steps.

To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “Time Steps”

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