Some of Australia's hottest tap dancers and musical theatre performers auditioned for their part in the 25th anniversary tour of Hot Shoe Shuffle and after a nationwide search, the talented Tap Brothers have been cast.
"We had a difficult time because there were so many great auditionees," said producer David Atkins on casting the exemplary Tap Brothers. "These Tap Brothers are genuine triple threats and this could well be our best cast ever!"
Before Tap Dogs and The Boy from Oz, Hot Shoe Shuffle paved the way as the first Australian musical to succeed both at home and internationally and is one of the longest running multi-award winning musicals ever to be produced in Australia. Originally conceived, directed and produced by David Atkins OAM in 1992 it was choreographed by both Atkins and the now world-renowned tap choreographer Dein Perry.
Featuring the big band hits of the 1940s, Hot Shoe Shuffle has won numerous awards and been produced in six different countries. It played sell-out seasons in London, where the production won the prestigious Lawrence Olivier Award for Choreography. It has also won an ARIA Award for its soundtrack album, 4 Mo Awards, 2 Green Room Awards, and an Advance Australia Award for services to the Arts. After its award-winning season on London's West End, Hot Shoe Shuffle broke box office records on the UK's regional touring circuit, where it toured for two years.
In the role of Slap is Morgan Junor-Larwood who is a recent graduate of the Australian Institute of Music and has appeared in Stories from the Westside, A Winters Tale and Three Sisters. The loveable rogue, Buck, will be played by Rob Mallett. Rob is a 2012 graduate from West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and a true 'triple threat'. Whilst at WAAPA, Rob played major roles in a number of their productions including Xanadu and Into the Woods. The perfectionist Tap Brother, Wing, will be played by Mitchell Hicks whose career began aged 11 playing Young Peter Allen in the original production of The Boy From Oz in 1998. Other theatre credits include Jolson and Singin' in the Rain.
Youthful Tip will be played by Alexander Kermond who kick started his tap dance career in Dein Perry's Tap Dogs and is part of the legendary Kermond show biz Family. Max Patterson will be taking to the Hot Shoe Shuffle stage as Tap. He was last seen performing in The Helpmann Awards. The baby of the seven tap brothers, Slide, will be played by 17 year old Mason Schaube. Hot Shoe Shuffle is Mason's debut into professional musical theatre. He began dancing at the age of three and is studied in all facets of dance.
Joining the Tap Brothers is previously announced cast David Atkins, Jaz Flowers and Bobby Fox.
Recognized in the 2003 Queen's Birthday Honours with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to the entertainment industry, David Atkins is Australia's most awarded producer, choreographer and director. He has starred in, produced, directed, choreographed and created more than 20 musicals in Australia, Britain, the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. In 2000, Juan Antonio Samaranch, the president of the International Olympic Committee, presented David with a Gold Olympic Pin for his outstanding and innovative work as Artistic Director and Producer of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Over and above the enormous body of theatrical, arena and live event work that David has directed and produced, beyond the vast number of awards and nominations, he has revolutionised the way shows are created and produced.
Jaz Flowers' big break was as 'Tracey Turnblad' in the multi award winning production of Hairspray for which she won Sydney Theatre Awards and received a Helpmann Award Nomination for Best Female Actor in a Musical. Other credits include Fame - the Musical and Shane Warne the Musical. Most recently Jaz appeared as one of the contestants in the hit television show The Voice.
In the role of Spring is Bobby Fox. Hailing from Longford, Ireland, Bobby Fox moved to Australia in 2002 and began his professional musical theatre career with feature roles in Mamma Mia, Leader of the Pack, Dusty - The Original Pop Diva, We Will Rock You, Spamalot and The Production Company's Sweet Charity and Damn Yankies. Bobby was then handpicked by the man himself to play the role of Frankie Valli in the smash hit musical The Jersey Boys, playing to sold out seasons in Melbourne & Sydney. More recently Bobby has been seen in Nine Network's new hit House Husbands.