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Mattie Kelly Arts Center

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College Production:
Talley's Folly

Broadway Series:
Dirty Dancing

Broadway Series:
Original Stars of American Bandstand

School Show:
Four Score and Seven Years Ago

Art Gallery:
America: The Dream of an Artist's Life featuring Emil Holzhauer

School Show:
Charlotte's Web

Artist Series:

School Show:
Nugget & Fang

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Tap Dogs Takes Mattie Kelly Arts Center by Storm November 9

Mattie Kelly Arts Center


10/26/2009 - TAP DOGS, a rough, tough and rocking reinvention of tap, will take the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville by storm on November 9 at 7:30 p.m. TAP DOGS has performed in 330 cities worldwide with 12 million seats sold. The rocking theatrical entertainment of Tap Dogs combines the strength and power of workmen with the precision and talent of tap dancing in a show that's described as part theatre, part dance and part rock concert.

TAP DOGS was the instant hit of the Sydney Theatre Festival, where it had its world premiere in January 1995, and caused an equal sensation at the Edinburgh Festival later that year. TAP DOGS then played to standing room only at London's Sadler's Wells, return tours of Australia, and a second West End engagement.

Tickets for TAP DOGS are on sale now for $45 each from the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box Office in-person, by phone at (850)729-6000, or online at A group discount of $5 off per ticket for groups of 10 or more is also available. The center is located on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College at 100 College Blvd. Box office hours are 9 am to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and 90 minutes prior to showtime.

TAP DOGS was created by two-time Olivier Award-winning choreographer Dein Perry, with a construction site set by eclectic designer/director Nigel Triffitt and a driving score by composer Andrew Wilkie. Since its debut, TAP DOGS has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe, Australia, the Far East and South Africa.

Australian Dein Perry, creator and choreographer of TAP DOGS, has come a long way from the make-shift dance school in Newcastle, a steel town north of Sydney, where, as young boys, he and the future dogs learned how to tap. At the age of 17, with no opportunities in sight for a dancing career, he earned his union papers and worked as an industrial machinist for six years. He then moved to Sydney where he tried to break into show business. Small chorus parts in Broadway-style musicals led to Dein's big break when he was cast in the long-running Sydney production of 42nd Street. When it closed, Dein decided to create a contemporary show around the themes of his industrial experience with his Newcastle tap dancing mates.

With a small government grant, Dein contacted his old friends, who had also taken up various ''real'' jobs by this time, and formed Tap Brothers, an early incarnation of TAP DOGS. From this, Dein was offered the chance to choreograph the West End musical, Hot Shoe Shuffle, which brought the group to London and earned Dein his Olivier Award in 1995. A subsequent offer from the Sydney Theatre Company led to the collaboration with designer and director Nigel Triffitt; which resulted in the creation of TAP DOGS.

TAP DOGS made their North American debut at Montreal's ''Just For Laughs'' festival in August 1996. The show then played to critical acclaim on a limited North American tour prior to an engagement in New York City, where Dein Perry earned a 1997 Drama Desk nomination for ''Best Choreography'' and the show received a 1997 Obie Award. Tap Dogs went on to be immortalized in the movie Bootmen, directed by Dein Perry and inspired by his Tap Dog experiences.

For more information, contact the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box Office at (850)729-6000 or go online to