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54 Below

A Nonprofit Cabaret Venue

The One-Legged Song and Dance Man, Volume 3
August 14 2015
Cover Charge: $25-35
Premiums $65

Food & Beverage Minimum of $25
Cover Charge Additional $5 At Door
Fri, Aug 14 9:30pm Doors 8:45pm Tickets


“The One Legged Song and Dance Man is Back! After a SOLD OUT SHOW back in February, Evan Ruggiero will return to 54 Below. Joining him for this night of music will be Broadway Veteran Jackie Burns (If/Then, Wicked, Hair), Olivia Polci (Foolerie, 54 Below Solo Show, Bergen PAC Soloist), and Kyle Wilder (Black Out w/ Savion Glover, New Jersey Tap Ensemble, JUBA Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance). Evan’s band feature’s long standing members Ray Carega, Justin Garcia, and Brendan Daily, and introducing Will Dougherty, Joe Gullace, Frank Scillieri, and Rich Cush. Not only will Evan sing his favorite rock and musical theatre songs, but he will be debuting some of his own songs from his new original musical he has been working on called “My Champagne Year.”

Evan Ruggiero began dancing at the age of 5 in his hometown studio and by age 10, he was accepted into the famed New Jersey Tap Ensemble, under the direction of Ms. Deborah Mitchell. He soon graced the stages of Lincoln Center, The Shomberg Museum of Harlem and The New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, among others. Upon entering his sophomore year at Montclair State University while pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre, Evan was suddenly diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer of the right leg. Enduring nine surgeries in a six-month period in an effort to save the leg, the cancer returned more aggressively than the original diagnosis. He was faced with the ultimate decision of amputation in order to stop the cancer and save his life, as well as undergoing chemotherapy for 16 months. In spite of the physical setback, Evan held close to the dream of dancing and learned of the famed Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates, a legendary African-American entertainer who taught himself to tap dance after losing a leg in a cotton gin accident at the age of 12. Bates performed twice for the King and Queen of England and became a regular on The Ed Sullivan Show appearing a record 58 times. Inspired by his story, Evan aspired to passing on his legacy. Within eighteen months after the amputation, and only two days after receiving his “peg-leg,” Evan was tapping again. He has appeared with the St. Louis Tap Festival, LA Tap Festival, Jersey Tap Festival, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, on American Idol, has been a guest on The Ellen Show, on Telemundo’s Un Nuevo Dia, and most recently made his first international appearance on Italy’s hit television show Quelli Che il Calcio.