What started as a simple troupe of street performers in the UK has since become a worldwide attraction seen by over 24 million people in more than 50 countries, including permanent companies in New York and London, plus simultaneous tours throughout North America and Europe. And though there were several familiar aspects from the two decade history of “Stomp” on opening night of a new Broadway In Chicago residency, the show that makes the most mundane items a percussion instrument continues to evolve.
Technically speaking, there’s no specific musical soundtrack associated with the show, but unconventional rhythms regularly leap to life courtesy of shopping carts, plumbing fixtures, paint cans, garbage lids, and quite literally, kitchen sinks.
Though the spectacle’s always been a staple with both mainstream and alternative audiences (perhaps most akin to “Blue Man Group”), this particular edition is loaded with several updated displays of beat-driven dance. Technically speaking, there’s no specific musical soundtrack associated with the show, but unconventional rhythms regularly leap to life courtesy of shopping carts, plumbing fixtures, paint cans, garbage lids, and quite literally, kitchen sinks.
“Stomp” is also much more than choreographed banging and clanging throughout 95 action packed minutes, including more subdued but nonetheless equally complex stabs at communal street sweeping, newspaper reading and even garbage picking. Audience participation also pops up from time to time in the form of hand clapping, finger snapping and body slapping, finally climaxing with a comic relief-filled finale reprising many of the above effects on steroids.
More conservative theatergoers may want to consider packing some earplugs for that grand jam, but the escalated volume only adds to the heart racing effect of the athletic ensemble bashing and thrashing their way through some of the most unique drum patterns ever created. Toss it all together, and this Olivier, Obie and Drama Desk Award winner continues its streak as one of the most unique and constantly compelling theatrical expressions to ever “Stomp” the stage.