A Tap Dance Tale

I Remember Harlem

An African American song and dance man whose deferred dreams of stardom have culminated as a shoe shine man!

Book, Music and Lyrics by Lee Summers and Kevin Ramsey.

5 men / 2 Women

I Remember Harlem premiered at the Milwaukee Repertory theatre starring Harold Nicholas of the legendary Nicholas Brothers in his farewell stage performance. Sharing the original cast was Tony Nominee, Ted Levy. I Remember Harlem was later produced by The Arkansas Repertory Theatre to critical acclaim. This tap dance musical was further developed led by Tony Winner, Andre DeShields.


I Remember Harlem starts at the funeral of Maxey, a sixty-five year old song and dance man whose deferred dreams of being a star culminated in his owning shoeshine stand next door to the World Famous Apollo Theatre. Beloved by his community, yet pressed against a backdrop of a gentrified Harlem, we meet those who mourn him most, mainly his estranged son Wellington – and the surprise funeral attendance of the mystical Dr. Rhythm – a master tap dancer.   In a maze of father/son revelations, I Remember Harlem climaxes into a story of healing and the reclaiming of America’s first indigenous art form – a syncopated celebration of tap dance.

Arkansas Repertory Theatre Cast of “I Remember Harlem” formerly “If These Shoes Could Talk”


“Harold Nicholas (of the legendary Nicholas Brothers) starred in the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre’s world premiere of If These Shoes Could Talk, which also starred Tony nominee Ted Levy, an original tap dance musical by Lee Summers and Kevin Ramsey. The leading character, a seasoned triple threat/hoofer, “Dr Rhythm,” was written for Nicholas and would be his farewell stage performance in a musical.” from Wikipedia.com

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