Showing posts with label STOMP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label STOMP. Show all posts

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Theater Review: STOMP

By Phil Doyle

I have a confession… As a person who claims to be a lover of all things creative, I have allowed assumptions to govern my patronage of the arts.  Regretfully, for the past twenty years or so, I have avoided the worldwide sensation that is STOMP.

It is a shameful prejudice that I have held toward STOMP, and the productions that have followed in its lineage.  Fortunately for me, I have found redemption, and I believe it’s my duty to make up for my years of blind misjudgment.  It is time to testify to you, my brothers and sisters… Bare witness to the errors of my ways, and join the celebration of life called STOMP.

If you haven’t had the chance to see it live on stage, it is high time that you go.  Here are the reasons why:

STOMP is a tribal affirmation.  If you have ever danced at a club, been to a rave, or unabashedly rocked out to a favorite tune in the car, you will understand the blissful joy that music provides.  There is something magical about surrendering to a percussive beat.  An intense rhythmic expression of creative rage, that when shared with others, is like a big primal group hug.

STOMP is way more than people banging on things.  Oh yes, make no mistake it gets pretty loud, but not like an auditory assault.  Precisely orchestrated and artfully choreographed- a dazzling blend of the senses.  There is a nuanced arrangement of light and sound using Zippo lighters.  Performers dancing with 50 pound barrels strapped to their feet.  Spectacular.

STOMP is fun for all.  Like the clever, tongue-and-cheek, humor of a Charlie Chaplin film, this is a show that appeals to the young and old alike.  The actors playfully engage the audience, and the audience returns the favor.  With such wide appeal, this is the most financially successful show in Off-Broadway history.

STOMP is a big boost to the libido.  If the idea of beautiful men and/or women, at the physical peak of their lives, sweat glistening from their muscular bodies doesn’t appeal to you... I suggest that you check your pulse and seek medical attention.   Eight attractive performers, exuding assertive confidence and phenomenal skill, is just dayum sexy.

STOMP’s performers work their asses off.  This show demands maximum effort, and the calories that are burned on the stage boggle the mind.  These men and women are literally swinging from the rafters.  I don’t know where they find people who have such boundless energy and ability in dance, percussion, and performance.  The resulting standing ovation was well deserved.

After the show I noticed the heightened vigor of the crowd.  A transfer of energy had taken place.  People were smiling, tapping a rhythmic beat on their programs, and the steps exiting the Buell seemed easier to climb.  Live theatre at its best.  (I extend mad props to everyone involved in this production for giving me the inspiration to get off my lazy Irish ass, and clean my garage.)

To wrap things up, I would like to address the overbearing shmuck that was sitting directly behind me.  (I have incredible disdain for theatre patrons who lack self-control and social decorum.)  Anyway, this guy sat down and threw out a challenge to the decent, well-mannered people around him asking, “Yep, I’ve seen this show before, and if any of y'all know what it’s about, I’d like to know.”  My response, other than a dirty look and some shade, is to please refer to the five points I have made above.

STOMP is a jumpin’ and thumpin’ party that appeals to the best parts of human nature.  Go join the celebration.

STOMP plays at The Buell Theatre through September 30. For tickets or more information visit