“Stomp” has been running so long some of the “found” objects used by the performers look like museum pieces.
Push brooms, metal garbage cans, matchboxes and flip-top lighters were just some of the tools pressed into service as percussion instruments in the 90-minute show.
Stopping in Sioux City Wednesday night, the 20-plus-year-old show brought a few new tricks and still managed to drum up plenty of applause and laughs.
Much like a performance you’d see on the streets of New York, “Stomp” is tribute to creativity, a musical journey that doesn’t require much more than stomping feet and clapping hands.
With items you’d pick up in a hardware store – kitchen sinks, metal cans, pipe and shopping carts – the actors were able to do even more.
The carts, in fact, looked like a new addition – one that gave the eight performers a chance to glide across the stage. Like dancers in a ballet, they executed the moves nicely and didn’t crash into each other.
Everyone got a solo turn but the show’s conceit doesn’t give any a name. The program lists Kayla Cowart, Jonathon Elkins, Desmond Howard, Alexis Juliano, Guido Mandozzi, Artis Olds, Jeremy Price, Krystal Renee, Ivan Salazar, Cade Slattery, Steve Weiss and Joe White as performers but there’s no way to tell who’s on or who’s off.
Just know they work together as nimbly as fingers on a hand.
A bit with Zippo lighters showed just how precise they could be (and how fickle a lighter is). A couple of routines with brooms let they show off their dancing skills.
“Stomp” has a little tap, a bit of hip-hop and a whole lot of show-off.
Created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, the show glides from one number to another, often using those simple tools to provide transitions.
At one point, four hung from a big wall and pounded on drums and tubs.
At another, several stomped (sorry) out on oil drums like they were stilts.
The show’s floor had a series of microphones which let something as simple as sweeping resonate. It also had plenty of give so that when the eight were jumping around they didn’t risk major injury.
Performed without an intermission, “Stomp” has been honed for maximum effect.
Some routines rely entirely on the personalities of their performers. In one featuring The Sioux City Journal (yup, the paper was a supporting character), a percussionist turned the pages into feathers and paraded around like a turkey – original and intriguing.
Even though the concept is now a part of the theatrical landscape, “Stomp” still has the ability to amaze and, in the case of young people, inspire.
Filled with plenty of under-20s, the Orpheum Theatre audience was likely to produce budding musicians on Thursday.
Don’t believe me? Grab one of the sections of The Journal and see just how rhythmic you can be.
The show was infectious.