Best Karaoke (1999)

Tap Tap Haitian Restaurant

Tap Tap owner Gina Cunningham wanted to offer karaoke to her customers, but she wasn't about to set the scene for a bunch of schmaltz-lovers crooning "Feelings." Enter James Small, the James Brown of karaoke. A bus driver from Fort Lauderdale, Small appears at Tap Tap on occasional weekend nights, sporting a leather vest over his muscled chest and toting his soulful karaoke machine, outfitted with R&B and rock hits. The Tap Tap crowd (an international mix of artists, journalists, and assorted passersby) responds accordingly. Someone struts like Mick Jagger on top of the bar while singing "Sexual Healing"; a many-accented and heavily inebriated chorus joins together on "Imagine"; a Haitian laundry worker who speaks no English shakes maracas to the beat of "Don't Worry, Be Happy." If you never thought karaoke could be cool, this might change your mind.


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