The first thing that you notice about Buckets and Tap Shoes isn’t buckets or tap shoes; it’s the misty fog (or foggy mist) that has settled in the Charleston Music Hall. The first thing you hear isn’t buckets or tap shoes; it’s a commendably energetic, but strictly wedding reception-worthy band.
Brothers Rick and Andy Ausland finally come out tapping, but the first impression is indicative of the night — you’ll be impressed by the tapping, confused by the rare bucket performance, and overwhelmed that everything else is just so average.
The tapping is truly extraordinary, with coordinated shuffling, spinning, and jumping that will marvel any crowd. And both of the Ausland brothers are just as capable and captivating in solo routines. Standout numbers included two performances by flashlight and a tapping rendition of Mozart that offers just the type of creativity the entire show should have provided.
The buckets showed off the Auslands’ other talents, but the first of the two numbers lacked the energy captured in the tapping. The second bucket performance was better, but came at the end of the show. In the middle, we heard way too much from the band, including a number where the Auslands ditched both buckets and tap shoes to play guitar and drums. It was a self-indulgent snore.
A little magic, some audience interaction, and a dash of theater were all appreciated, but the whole thing failed to reach the level one would expect from a successful longtime show like Buckets and Tap Shoes.
There were a few kids in the audience and youngsters are likely to enjoy the show, even though the numbers can run a little long.