Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life at The Wallis from May 9 to 24. It is a song and dance show that celebrates performing in general and tap dancing in particular. Maurice has also created a special gift of memories for the audience. It puts a spotlight on his remarkable family’s legacy and he shares relatable stories of his father Maurice Sr. and brother Gregory, which made up the act Hines, Hines and Dad. And there are precious tales of his mother Alma, along with his idols and mentors. “I started at age five and learned from the greats. I was inspired by Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and stars of a class that will never be seen again. My mother said, ‘Don’t learn from mediocrity, learn from the best.’ So I learned how to walk on stage by watching Harry Belafonte,” Maurice explains.
Celebrated dancer, choreographer, director, and singer Maurice has created a show that also mentors new talent. “We’ve got the phenomenal Manzari Brothers, John and Leo. They have the ‘wow factor’ and defy gravity with their dance steps,” Hines reports. Plus the show-stopping 11-year-old tapper Luke Spring is featured, and the all-female Diva Orchestra. The funny, high-energy, heartfelt show is directed by Jeff Calhoun (Tony Nominee for Newsies) and brings the history of tap to life.
Maurice’s credits include Sophisticated Ladies on stage and Coppola’s The Cotton Club on film. Special “Tappin’ Thru Life” moments are highlighted with family photos, “because my mother took pictures from the day we were born. She had a vision for us. I sing ‘Too Marvelous for Words’ to her, and although she’s gone sometimes I see her saying, ‘Go get ‘em, son.’ It’s an emotional show, because I make my brother, father and mother a part of it.”
When he steps into the spotlight his family is there with him, and the audience can feel that. People tell him the show touches them because they had a mom, dad or brother they idolized too.
Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life runs May 9-24 at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills (between Camden and Beverly). For tickets call (310) 746-4000 or go to thewallis.org.