Tap dancer brings his talent to “Funny Girl”


 Twenty-five-year-old Izaiah Montaque Harris has been tap dancing since he was old enough to walk.

Taught by his choreographer mother, the Chicago-born actor/dancer honed his craft in high school, where he studied Musical Theatre.

“I love to act and dance,” Izaiah said, “and musical theatre is the perfect vehicle for me.”

Izaiah plays Eddie Ryan and has an opportunity to both show his acting and tap dancing skills.

Izaiah arrived in Providence last Wednesday for his first experience in a Broadway Road Show.

“I dropped my bags at the hotel and walked your beautiful city,” (he/him) said. “I found the bridge over the river and walked along the path looking at some kind of boat (gondola). What a beautiful city!”

The cast began Tech Week on Thursday, preparing for a September 9th opening at the Providence Performing Arts Center before hitting the road.

“I’m excited about traveling to different cities. I know we go from Providence to Grand Rapids and Detroit. That’s as far ahead as I’ve looked.

“It is a humbling experience working with older dancers. It is both humbling and scary.”

“’Funny Girl’” may be an older musical, but it is still very relevant and stylistically advanced and timeless.

“It may still have some corny jokes, but it has great messages about relationships and some well-written

The book has been updated by Harvey Fierstein and has tap choreography by Ayodele Casel.

You’ll recognize songs like “People” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade”.

The bittersweet comedy is the story of Fanny Brice, a girl from the Lower East Side who dreamed of a life on the stage. Everyone told her she would never be a star, but she didn’t listen to them, and, well, the rest is history.

The National Tour of “Funny Girl” opens at the Providence Performing Arts Center on September 9 and runs through September 16. Call 421-ARTS for reservations.