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A tapping good time

March 1, 2010 - Erin O'Neill

I saw an item running in the paper about a program at Washington State on Feb. 27. It was called "Buckets and Tap Shoes."

Being that my daughter is taking tap and ballet, I thought it might be something she would enjoy. I talked the grandparents into going as well.

Boy, am I glad we went.

"Explosive," "Awesome," "Amazing" -- these words don't even begin to describe the show that these brothers out of Minneapolis, Andy and Rick Ausland, put on for the packed house.

The music was right up my alley. A lot of Minneapolis funk (think Prince) with some jazz, swing and classical thrown in for good measure. The brothers brought along three other musicians, who were outstanding in their own right, and they funked the place up. There was a lot of banging on buckets and other interesting objects, including the auditorium seats. The outrageously tall Rick was a bit of a magician and all around funny guy while brother Andy was more subdued but a really good singer and guitar player.

And they absolutely killed it with the tap dancing. My kid will be taking tap dancing for the rest of her life, if I have anything to do with it.

The only downside to the evening was that the seats were limited. The show started at 8 p.m. and tickets were handed out beginning at 7. If I were to guess, I'd say the auditorium only seats about 200. Oh, and my kid was very disappointed that she wasn't one of the kids brought up to the stage to jam at the end. The kid is destined for the stage (ugh).

But the tickets were free and a show of this caliber could have easily charged 50 bucks a head. Pretty impressive for this area. Plus, a little birdy told me that the guys drove through a blizzard to get to Marietta. That's dedication.

It's just a reminder, I guess, that there are sometimes really cool things to do if you know where to look. My first suggestion would be to pick up the paper and check it out. You never know what you might find.



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