It is hard to believe that the “international percussion sensation” STOMP has been around since 1991 and I am just getting around to seeing it. Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas created the simplistic yet ingenious theatrical performance piece that continues to evolve and thrill audiences worldwide.
STOMP is sound. Despite its name, this show does far more tan rely on the impact of feet against flooring. The show explores the many frequencies embedded in all kinds of impacts from the muted abrasion of bristles sweeping to the broad side of the same broom pounded into the floor, to the unexpectedly melodious way Tic Tacs came be made to dance inside its tiny box when held just the right way.
STOMP is spectacle. In a company number that read part duel, part dance, the entire cast wielding wooden staffs Wooden sticks, Paint buckets Precision of timing was on full display during on particular number featuring the company standing shoulder to shoulder in the dark, performing an awesome light show using only lighters.
STOMP is musical. Performers with, wait for… kitchen sinks yoked around their necks, tapped out a wavering string of notes from household pots and pans as water cascades from them. If you closed your eyes, one number using various sized plastic tubing generated a wall of sound replicating a giant recorder.
STOMP is comical. While there is no storyline or dialogue from one musical number to the next, the show possesses a durable connective thread it its silent rapier wit. Often the way into a number is with one performer trying, and often failing, to outdo his or her fellow performance with whatever object finds its way onto the stage. The show is sprinkled with all these lovely moments where random performers break from the coordinated event and go off into their own thing, in a fit of unbridled silliness. One number featuring six performers and a myriad of newspapers was terrific fun, solidifying the show as a truly family friendly event.
Throughout the entire night is was a masterwork of performers who knew exactly which note they were in the collectively created melody, which cog they were in the human machine onstage – what was on their hands, what was flying toward them as they were throwing the last, who was coming, what was going – and all the while thoroughly enthralled and impressed with themselves and each other. Their weird attitude – a strange mixture of defiance and pride – was both captivating and contagious.
Last nights cast included: Eric Fay, Andres Fernadez, Cammie Griffin, Mike Hall, Delaunce Jackson, Guido Mandozzi, Nancy Rubio, and John Sawicki. Our energetic troupe gave an exciting, electrifying performance that literally had my jaw dropped the entire night.
STOMP is truly an experience in that the show challenges the audience to become reacquainted to each of their senses, not just sound, but sight and touch. It truly was an entertaining evening of joyful noise you have to experience for yourself.
STOMP is running now through December 29, 2013 at:
8400 Wilshire Blvd
(near La Cienaga Blvd.)
Beverly Hills, CA 90211