Fans of dance and aficionados of the silver screen can enjoy Broadway-quality tap dancing and singing as the Illinois Central College Guest Artists Series presents Two On Tap, a creative collaboration of celebrated musical theatre performers Melissa Giattino and Ron DeStefano, on Saturday, October 18, at 7:30 pm, in the ICC Performing Arts Center in East Peoria.
Two On Tap takes audiences back in time to an era when couples like Fred and Ginger and Mickey and Judy filled the silver screen with undeniable chemistry, tight vocal harmony and precision tap choreography. With classic songs from the Great American Songbook, fantastic vocals, gorgeous costumes, and exciting tap-dancing, the pair creates a magical one-of-a-kind show filled with variety, comedy, and plenty of Broadway-quality song and dance.
“Musical theatre, tap dance and song-and-dance are really having a resurgence,” DeStefano said, “and so we have families coming to our show–children, baby boomers and retirees–and they’re all enjoying it the same way for different reasons.”
Giattino began her professional performing career at the age of 17 in the national tour of A Chorus Line and starred in many other musicals on stage worldwide. She made her Broadway debut as an original revival cast member of the tap-dancing spectacular, 42nd Street. In addition, she was a member of the most well-known kick-line in history, the Radio City Rockettes, and she has assisted and dance-captained for some of the most famous tap choreographers in the business.
DeStefano has garnered rave reviews and awards for his performances around the world, from the hottest cabaret venues of New York City to the lavish opera houses of Europe. Following graduation from college, he made his way to Manhattan and began auditioning for the Broadway stage; months later, he found himself making his international debut with the Tony-Award winning musical Evita. He received the coveted Back Stage Bistro Award for his cabaret work and has multiple studio recordings to his credit.
Two On Tap has multi-generational appeal, from older retirees who remember when the original song-and-dance movies were released, to the younger audience members who have experienced tap through their local dance studio and through recent musically-themed movies such as Chicago, Dream Girls or The Producers.
The show features several different types of tap, including the ballroom-influenced tap, vaudevillian-style tap, jazz tap and urban tap. For those who enjoy dancing but aren’t quite sure they’d enjoy a performance consisting only of tap dancing, Giattino said that other entertainment elements are a major part of their show.
“Obviously we tap dance,’” she said. “But what makes our show really special is that we sing, so we sing and we tap dance at the same time. People come to see the show and they’re absolutely amazed that we’re able to do that, that we’re able to have the stamina to do it, to do it with a lot of artistry. So I think that’s what really sets the show apart.”
From singing and dancing to comedy, DeStefano says the pair has taken the typical variety show and offers a unique evening filled with different styles of song and dance in a way other performers haven’t tried.
“We found that audiences really respond to it and get excited. The time flies by, and they have no idea when they’re coming to see it that it’s going to be such an exhilarating and thrilling evening,” he said. “We call it ‘a nonstop rollercoaster romp through the worlds of jazz, stage and screen,’ and that really is an apt description of the show.”
As it does for all Guest Artists Series events at ICC, CityLink is providing Park and Ride service from Peoria. Buses leave Evergreen Square at 7 pm and transport passengers directly to the ICC Performing Arts Center. Buses return to Evergreen Square immediately after the show. The cost is $1 each way with senior citizens 65 years of age or older riding free.
CityDance is the highlighted community partner for this performance. The community partner program, a part of the ICC Guest Artists Series, highlights a non-profit or community organization which has ties to the Guest Artists Series performance.
Tickets cost $25 for the general public and $15 for students. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ArtsAtICC.com or by calling the box office at (309) 694-5136.Next: It’s Back to the ’80s! Celebrate with these ’80s-themed events Wednesday, October 8