November 13, 2005

Taye Diggs Is Versatile

Taye Diggs, dancer? Well can he tap? 'Cuz he can tap my as..., er, nevermind.

Why Is Taye Diggs Getting His Groove On?

The foot traffic in Midtown Manhattan didn't come to a complete standstill as Taye Diggs strolled up Ninth Avenue, but the actor still managed to turn a few heads on a brisk weekday afternoon. "Just recently white people are starting to notice who I am," said Mr. Diggs, as he walked past a pair of middle-aged white women, both of whom did double takes. "In the black community of actors that's the gauge of how big you are, your real crossover appeal."

Since appearing in the Broadway phenomenon "Rent" nearly a decade ago, Mr. Diggs, 33, has moved easily between films ("The Best Man," "How Stella Got Her Groove Back"), stage ("Carousel," "Chicago") and television ("Ally McBeal," "Kevin Hill").

Audiences will be seeing even more of the genre-hopping actor in the near future. He's currently starring in the revival of "A Soldier's Play," Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a murder at a Louisiana Army base during World War II. And he is again playing the role of Benny, the slumlord, in the film adaptation of "Rent," which opens on Nov. 23. Four more films are already in the can.

As if that weren't enough, he recently helped found a modern dance troupe called, in which he is the principal choreographer - a fact that is sure to surprise many of his fans.

"Nobody knows that between singing, acting and dancing, I enjoy dance the most," he said, beaming, while sitting in a lounge at the Second Street Theater (where "A Soldier's Play" is running) a few hours before he was due at dance rehearsal.

Mr. Diggs said he discovered a love of dance as a teenager at the Performing Arts High School in Rochester and had continued to take classes over the years, studying with the likes of Timothy Traper and the Garth Fagen dancers.

Until his movie career took off, he was quite serious about dance, said Andrew Palermo, a choreographer and high school buddy, the other founder of the troupe, which now has seven members and is being financed by the Dance Theater Workshop.

Posted by ronn at November 13, 2005 05:31 PM

I cannot wait to see him dance! Posted by: James [TypeKey Profile Page] on November 27, 2005 11:57 AM
Same here: him stretching, bending over, sweating... Posted by: ronn [TypeKey Profile Page] on November 28, 2005 04:29 PM
loved the film rent - not as much as the play - but it was good - rosario dawson did the damn thing. taye diggs as a dancer - i have to see. Posted by: lynne [TypeKey Profile Page] on December 3, 2005 11:36 AM
I'm heading out in a bit to see the film. I haven't seen the play unfortunately. And I would love, love, love to see Mr. Diggs dance! Posted by: ronn [TypeKey Profile Page] on December 5, 2005 09:49 AM
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