I Ar /from page IB
my dance career. When I was
younger, a commitment to dance was
almost impossible — there was so
much pressure to play sports and to
do the macho thing.' I was constantly ridiculed about my passion for
tap. I remember the 7th-grade vividly. 1 cried almost every day before
going to school." he said.
The tap shoes have turned, so to
speak. Now LoCascio laughs at his
totally new perspective.
"When I see my macho buddies out
on the football field patting each
other on the butl. 1 can only compare
that lo what I'm doing — working in
a class full of beautiful women in
body suits — so who's gay here?" he
Despite their tough image, the
guys in the company are more like a
big family filled with kids refusing lo
grow up, LoCascio says
There are a lot of different types of
guys in the company — black, white,
straight, gay. American. and
Australian — but wc all love to dance
and we all gel along very, very well.
There is a fair amount of pressure on
you when you have a show lhat is
this successful. The camaraderie
that we have in the company makes
touring much easier," he said.
Part of the Tap Dogs" allure is
that the guys perform in such a visceral manner — the set. the lighting.
the sweat and the movement all combine to effect you in a way that is
passionate. LoCascio doesn't make
excuses for the sexuality involved in
"Dogs." but seems a bit surprised by
"Everyone seems to focus on the
fad that we take our shirts off during the show. Each of the dancers
has a specific role in the show and
we play those parts accordingly. I
happen to be one of the guys that
takes my shirt off, but that is just
part of the character 1 play in the
"Sex is not the focus of this show,
dance is. The fact that a few decent
looking guys remove some clothing
isn't something we think aboul —
we're too busy moving our feet in the
right direction," he said.
If recent performances are any
indication, the "Dogs" seem to be
headed for a blue ribbon at the
Westminster Kennel Club. Sold oul
houses have spawned all kind of
ideas for this troupe and the dance
concept they present.
"We are different from anything
else. Were not 'Riverdance.' not
Bring in Da Noise. Bring in Da Funk'
and we're not Blue Man Group' (one
of New York's longest running alter
native movement phenomena). We
are respectful of all that those
groups have done for dance, bul we
fit an our own category." LoCascio
Plans for a long-term Las Vegas
run and a possible movie are in the
Society for the Performing Arts
brings Tap Dogs back for eighl performances. When the "Dogs" were
lasl here in 1996 they were the surprise sensation of the season. Don't
be left with an empty water bowl,
you'll want to lap "Tap Dogs" up.
What: Tap Dogs"
When: June 16-21
Where: Wortham Center.
500 TexaS Ave.
Tickets: 7Ki 227-ARTS
Exploring Latin mystique
'Hollywood's Latin Lovers."
by Victoria Thomas: Angel City Press.
144 pages. $26.
by ELLA TYLER
Ifyou like dark and handsome men.
this book is for you.
The book discusses Ihe history of
"Latin Lovers" from Valentino
(Rudolph) and Ramon Novarro lo
Jimmy Smits and .-\ntonio
Banderas. but wisely
devotes much of its space to
pictures — more than 130.
The text is inleresling.
though, both for its discussion of the durability and
importance of Ihis uniquely
American icon, and for its
look al the personal lives of
the stars. In private, these
actors often did nol live up to
their screen images.
Silent movie slar Valentino, though
disastrously heterosexual, often played
androgynous or even effeminate roles
without loosing his appeal lo women.
An early death (and a canny publicist)
gave him a cult following that still
lingers, more lhan 70 years later.
Women, dramatically clad in black, still
place flowers on his grave, though not
in the numbers they did until thc lilties.
The lirst of the "ladies in black" was a
bil actress hired lo appear as a hear)
broken fan, but lhe ritual continues.
At least Iwo of the book's famous
lovers were gay. Ramon Novarro's
refusal to marry — or even cooperate
with tlie Hollywood practice some call
"Liming" — ended his career. On the
other hand, Cesar Romero was always
willing to be photographed with beautiful women (but not to marry), and his
career in film and television lasted 40
years. Romero's role as a lover was so
ingrained that he was making jokes
about dating younger women even when
he was in his '80s. and even after he had
acknowledged (and joked) about his
Tlie chapter about Desi Arnaz is
interesting. Arnaz. according to the book, literally
invented the rerun when
he persuaded CBS to
record "I Love Lucy" in
California instead of televising the show live from
New York. aArnaz earned
his credentials as a Latin
Lover and became a sex
ido! in the late '30s and
early "40s with his hip-
swaying, conga-pound ing
night club act. I always thought Elvis
Invented pelvic thrusts.
Tlie chapter on reincarnated "Latin
Lovers" traces the portrayal of masculinity on screen from lhe 70s to the
90's. First there were the tough guvs
like Pacino and Stallone. Then, just
like the stars of a earlier eras. John
Travolta made lhe ability to dance a
badge of masculinity. Finally, we have
st.us like Raul Julia, and Antonio
Band-eras. Ol Banderas. the Thomas
says "(he) has often played gay men
(in Spanish films and in Philadelphia)
... yel he is a powerful, conventional
leading men. Simply, we believe in
him as a lover — almost anyone's."
The book makes me want to rent a
lew videos. Certainly, high praise.
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