Tap virtuoso Andrew Nemr will present his solo show “Rise to the Tap” at Theatrical Outfit this weekend.
His parents were from Lebanon and escaped from war-torn Beirut in order to travel to Canada. Nemr was born in Canada, but grew up some in New Jersey and in the suburbs of Virginia.
He said he felt very lonely and secluded by his peers due to his ethnicity. In Nemr’s one-man show, he demonstrates the struggles he underwent and how tap dancing was his outlet for inner peace.
“Being a tap dancer and coming from immigrant parents, I didn’t really have a single identity. In the show, I talk about how one finds their identity when they have so many describers,” Nemr said.
Nemr met his tap dancing idols early on in his career. He began a mentorship under the legendary artists Jimmy Slyde, Gregory Hines, and Savion Glover. A
fter Glover choreographed the Tony Award-winning Broadway show “Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk” in 1995, Nemr was not asked to be apart of the production. In Nemr’s performance, he explores this heartbreak of not being included in a group he considered to be a second family.
The play explores themes of inclusion and reverence for his family and mentors. Flying Carpet Theater artistic director Adam Koplan helped co-write and direct the show as well.
City Lights host Lois Reitzes spoke with Nemr and Koplan ahead of “Rising the Tap’s” opening Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m.
Shows will be July 4-6 at 7:30 p.m. and a Saturday show at 2:30 p.m as well.