SARASOTA — Extending this season’s hot streak of productions that make bold artistic statements, Asolo Repertory Theatre presents Noah Racey’s Pulse. A song and dance celebration that harkens back to the golden age of hoofing, Pulse is written, conceived, and choreographed by Broadway song and dance man Noah Racey in collaboration with Broadway director and two-time Tony Award nominee Jeff Calhoun.
Pulse opens on Thursday, May 23 with an 8 p.m. curtain. Opening night will be preceded by two preview performances on Tuesday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. and May 22 at 8 p.m. The show runs through June 16, 2013 in Asolo Rep’s Mertz Theatre located in The FSU Center for the Performing Arts.
“I believe that Pulse is one of the most electrifying projects to ever appear on the American musical stage, and everyone at this theatre is so incredibly excited to be having its world premiere at Asolo Rep,” said Michael Donald Edwards, Asolo Repertory Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director.
“I’m most excited about exposing audiences to song and dance that is as good and as accomplished as I have ever seen. The cast is comprised of the best song and dance men and women in America today," said Jeff Calhoun. “I believe that Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, the Nicholas Brothers, and Sammy Davis, Jr. would be proud of Noah Racey’s Pulse.”
Noah Racey is an award-winning Broadway actor, singer and dancer as well as a director, choreographer, musician, and songwriter who’s developed his career as a song and dance man in the great tradition of those who have come before him. His Broadway career launched in 2001 with a revival of Follies, and his work as an associate choreographer on Thoroughly Modern Millie led to a Tony Award for choreographer Rob Ashford. For ten years, Racey has served as the resident director/choreographer of the critically-acclaimed Broadway by the Year series.
“All the people in the world understand the universal language of song and dance,” said Racey, who has taken his brand of entertainment to more than 15 countries. “Pulse explores a wide range of dance styles in American culture, using rhythm as a common denominator. Pulse melds classic hoofing and Broadway-style vocals with a modern approach to the presentation of song and dance. The result is an entirely new style of performance.”
The common denominator of rhythm to which Racey refers comes naturally to him, and was developed through Racey’s lifelong experience as a drummer. His drumming began when his father gave him a snare at age three. After years of banging away, he graduated to hand drums, playing in drum circles and marching bands until he found theater in high school and switched his focus to acting.
According to Racey, his personal recipe for tap, which incorporates drumming, body percussion and rhythmic tapping, is what sets the style in Pulse apart from anything else on Broadway. Beloved songs like “Under My Skin,” “Pick Yourself Up,” “Once in Love with Amy,” and “Drum Crazy” are reinterpreted along with other classics by Racey and the five other singer/dancers that make up the cast.
While modern and rhythmic in nature, Racey emphasizes that his style of dance remains elegant and true to its roots. “In Pulse, the performers are also musicians using their bodies as instruments, telling a story through the beat of song and dance,” added Racey.