Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Pulse" at Sarasota's Asolo is great entertainment

Racey (center) in "Pulse"
   The idea behind "Pulse," which is having its world-premiere run at the Asolo Repertory Theatre, is to put a modern face on traditional American song and dance.
   It could be a bit of tightrope walk, but "Pulse" keeps itself grounded safely in tradition.
   The show, created by Broadway singer-tap dancer Noah Racey, a corps of six performers (including Racey) who sing and dance to songs written by everyone from Irving Berlin to Regina Spektor, with a great on-stage band backing them up (and occasionally joining in the dance). Except for a couple of very cool raps by Racey and some interesting percussion segments, it mostly feels like stuff you've seen before.
   But that doesn't mean the show doesn't work. The numbers are loads of fun, the singing is solid and the dancing is sometimes astounding. 
   If you're looking for something daring, or something that will turn your non-traditionalist friends onto tap dancing, this isn't it. But if you're a fan of the genre, if you love watching Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly on AMC, then this show is heaven.
   Through June 16 a Asolo Rep's Mertz Theatre in The FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $55-$69. 941-351-8000,

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