What do you get when a bunch of mates that share their love for the infamous ‘Rat Pack’ and a joint passion for tap dancing? You get ‘The Tap Pack’! And after performing to sold out audiences at theatres around the world, including London’s West End, the group have made their way back home to the Australian stage.
Dressed in slick suits and backed by a four-piece jazz/swing band, creative directors Jesse Rasmussen, Jordan Pollard and Thomas J Egan are joined with Ben Brown and Thomas McGuane for 75 minutes of incredible tap dancing.
Performing at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre, the stage is set like a classic bar, that would later convert into stairs. Complete with, what appears to be, some top shelf liquor adorned with some bright neon signage displaying the words ‘The Tap Pack’. Playing over the theatre speakers were some jazz infused covers of pop songs and having never seen this production before, I had no idea what to expect but I was excited!
The excitement was only heightened when the five lads hit the stage. It was clear from the opening number that I was in for a high-octane thrill ride of incredible tap dancing. In perfect synchronicity, their tap skills are beyond impressive. Not only are the group amazing dancers, but they are also very good mates and the banter they have with each other brings a refreshing comedy to the show.
More than just a dance show, The Tap Pack is a clever infusion of classical crooner style with a dash of modern pop featuring songs from Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr., to Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran. Not only are these musical numbers paired with some incredible tap choreography, but they are also sung live. There is even a cheeky song battle between McGuane and Brown as the pair sing classical and modern pop hits.
Each member has their own moment to shine with a solo performance that will have you clapping and tappin’ along in your seats. Rasmussen has a number with a drum box that also consisted of some fun call and response with the audience. McGuane spoke about how travelling for theatre had him missing home and how he came to realise that the stage was his home. Pollard and Brown each had their own moments too.
But the highlight of the show for me was Thomas J Egan’s solo number. In a completely improvised piece, Egan danced his heart out. Showcasing his skill, Egan had me hanging on every movement. From slow and sweeping moves to some incredibly fast paced segments, Egan left nothing behind. Being completely improvised, nothing about that entire sequence will ever be the same, and that provided a deep connection with the audience.
There is more than just tap dancing and singing though. The group are also very skilled with other forms of percussion. With pool cues, sticks, and even bottles from the bar, they can make a beat or sound from just about anything. I was already impressed with their percussion skills, but it was when they started throwing the objects around the stage in perfect synchronisation that blew me away.
The Tap Pack is a show that I could happily see multiple times and still be entertained. Their tap skills are incredible, their vocals are just as good, and through their own stories, they each make a personal connection with the audience. I enjoyed every single moment of this show and I hope that you will too.
But you have to be quick! With performances in Melbourne only on until Sunday, there are not many chances to see this fun and exciting production before it moves interstate to Canberra, South Brisbane, and then Sydney. So, put on your best shoes and head to the Comedy Theatre before it is too late!
For more information and ticketing about The Tap Pack and their national tour, please visit: