Maurice Hines Opens His Heart in 'Tappin' Thru Life'
by Brian Siebert
The main difference between how Maurice Hines talks to a reporter visiting his dressing room and how he talks to an audience from the stage is that offstage the polished anecdotes don’t smoothly segue into song and dance. Mr. Hines is an entertainer, one who has been performing professionally for most of his 72 years. He aims to please, and he knows how to do it.
In his dressing room this week at New World Stages in Manhattan, where his autobiographical show, “Tappin’ Thru Life,” opens on Monday, he talked about how much fun he was having but also how hard it was to have just finished 10 preview performances in a row. His mother always instructed him and his brother to tell the truth, he said. “When they ask you if you’re tired, say yes.”
Lessons that his mother taught him figure prominently in “Tappin’ Thru Life,” but the impetus for the show came a few years back, when he read an article about tap that failed to mention his brother, Gregory — the movie star and Tony-winning actor, singer and dancer, who died of cancer in 2003.