That's an understatement for this entertaining and unique on-stage combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy.
Attending the Chicago premier of the newest version of STOMP at the Bank of America Theatre (18 West Monroe), I looked for clues amidst the backdrop wall of pots, pans, pails, ladders, brooms and other strange knick-knacks. I listened to the background "music" of unidentifiable instruments. I really had no clue as to what I was in for!
STOMP turned into a theatrical experience hard to forget. Beginning with one of the eight actor/musicians sweeping the stage floor with a regular broom, all the talented STOMP members filled the stage floor sweeping the floor with their own brooms. Within moments, these stiff-bristle brooms became a "sweeping" orchestra.
The young performers "make a rhythm out of anything we can get our hands on that makes a sound," says co-creator/director Luke Cresswell.
That included wooden poles thumping and clacking in an explosive rhythm; Zippo lighters opening and closing to create a fiery fugue; garbage pails and covers pounding the wooden floors; as well as tea chests, plastic bags, newspapers, toilet plungers, boots, hubcaps and even strip-lighting recycling containers filling the stage with compelling and infectious rhythms. Two new updated "acts" utilized tractor tire tubes and paint cans.
When one of the performers used his clapping hands to be one of the rhythmic tools, the audience participated by clapping their hands, matching the number of claps in a happy audience participation frenzy of fun.
Seeing - and hearing - is believing in the magic of this show!
STOMP began as a street performance in the United Kingdom in the 1980s, with its full length version beginning in 1991. That was history as it became an international sensation over the past 14 years, performing in 350 cities in 36 countries. STOMP continues its phenomenal run with the ongoing, sell-out Off-Broadway production at New York's Orpheum Theatre, a North American Tour, and two productions overseas in London and a European tour.
During its never-ending run, STOMP has won numerous awards including the Obie Award, Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatre Experience, Olivier Award for Best Choreography and Special Citations in Best Plays. The performers have been guests on Letterman, Leno, Oprah, Ellen DeGenerous, Conan O'Brien, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and many more appearances throughout the world.
The accolades go to the very deserving Directors, Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas.
After my husband and I left the theatre, exhilarated and happy, I discovered new meaning and percussion for my stomping feet, clapping hands and slapping various body parts. My best advice is to STOMP over to any Broadway in Chicago Box Office (24 West Randolph Street, 151 West Randolph Street and 18 West Monroe Street); or call Broadway in Chicago at
800-775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations or online at: www.BroadwayinChicago.com.
Remaining performances of STOMP are:
Friday, April 30 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, May 1 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Sunday, May 2 at 2:00 Pm and 7:30 PM
Photos: Steve McNicholas