Tommy Tune a Hit at the Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Jubalee Gala

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A brilliant one-man show by Tommy Tune entitled “ Taps, Tunes, and Tall Tales” by Chicago Human Rhythm Project celebrated its 25th silver anniversary in spectacular style at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Chicago Human Rhythm Project (C.H.R.P.) proudly honored the 10 – time Tony Award and National Medal of Arts winner with their JUBA! award for Extraordinary Lifetime Achievement.  The multi-talented showman who has performed across the country and around the globe displayed his skills to a packed house and clearly demonstrated why he is known throughout the world as a tap dancer extraordinaire and first-class entertainer as he sang, danced, and narrated personal stories for the delighted audience during a very impressive two hour Taps, Tunes, and Tall Tales presentation.

Receiving the JUBA! award for Extraordinary Lifetime Achievement is not an everyday occurrence; yet Tommy Tune convinced everyone at the M.C.A. on this fine evening that he is clearly worthy of this significant honor, as no one walked away disappointed from this superior song and dance production.

Accompanying Tommy on this 25th silver anniversary milestone was an engaging cocktail reception, along with notable silent and live auctions which enable C.H.R.P. to continue pursuing its ongoing mission statement: “To build community and fortify culture through arts education, American tap, and contemporary percussive arts.”  According to awards administrators, the lifetime achievement award is appropriately granted to Tommy Tune’s “outstanding dedication to theater and commitment to excellence for more than 50 years in the theater.”

Congratulations to Chairman Michael Foster, Artistic Director, and Founder Lane Alexander, along with generous supporters Elaine Cohen and Arlen Rubin (among others) for this magnificent entertainment event.  At 6’6” this Texan is definitely standing tall in the eyes of all of C.H.R.P.’s loyal supporters and tap dancing fans everywhere.


Tune stands a lanky 6’6½” tall, and at first, he found his height to be a disadvantage when auditioning for roles, as he would tower over potential co-stars. He wore horizontally-striped shirts to auditions, dipped extra low when he did pliés and learned to dance upstage (“I’d look shorter that way. It’s a law of perspective”) to try to overcome it.[4]

In 1965, Tune made his Broadway debut as a performer in the musical Baker Street. His first Broadway directing and choreography credits were for the original production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas in 1978. His direction of Nine The Musical in 1982, which also won the Tony for Best Musical garnered him his first Tony for the direction of a musical. He has gone on to direct and/or choreograph eight Broadway musicals. He directed a new musical titled Turn of the Century, which premiered at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago on September 19, 2008, and closed on November 2, 2008.[5]


About Jim Wattron

Jim graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, with a degree in Business Administration. Jim has worked with the team from the beginning and he consistently strives for innovation with refreshing topics that inspire readers with context of new adventures and happenings, locally and internationally. Read more from this author.