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STOMP - A Riveting Rhythmic Sensation in New York City

by Rich and Laura Lynch

STOMP is an incredibly unique theatrical experience that has stormed around the world since its creation in Brighton, England in 1991. In the intervening years the show has become a staple on the touring circuit and has fully put its stamp on New York City - with a street in the East Village being named for the production.

STOMP at the Orpheum Theatre

STOMP and it performers known as the stompers have an uncanny ability to find musicality in the mundane and the messy. STOMP can find rhythm in any item and the show is an unusual blend of dance, drums and visual comedy. Household and industrial tools become percussion instruments as everyday life is enjoyed and explored in this wordless musical.

STOMP can take stiff-bristle brooms and turn them into a synchronized sweeping orchestra. Or, its performers will utilize boots, chairs, hoses, hub caps, pipes and more to craft beats from the broken. In other words, the crew excels at creating a musical ruckus from recyclables.

STOMP created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas is running at New York 's Orpheum Theatre at 126 Second Avenue at 8th Street in the East Village. Soundpress.net attended an afternoon performance of STOMP on August 25th, 2012 and we were impressed by the scope of sounds in the production.

STOMP is also an international sensation making its presence known in Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Japan, Poland and beyond. Segments of the show have been featured on TV and STOMP was incorporated into a series of New York City public service announcements, print and outdoor ads encouraging people to STOMP OUT LITTER.

The Orpheum Theater is a narrow venue and the stage and walls were covered with various artifacts with some being used in the making of music. The Saturday matinee attracted a range of age groups.

STOMP is not a musical in the traditional sense as there is no storyline. STOMP is more a search for sound in everyday events and ordinary objects.

Also missing was named characters although the performers did bring personality to their playing. The muscular man wearing a green shirt was the un-spoken head of the group. It was often he who started the stream of sound and led the crowd through hand clapping sequences. All the performers brought humor to their music but one stood out as the chief comedian.

The show opened with the muscular man sweeping the floor crafting sounds with brush strokes and banging the broom on the floor. One by one others joined him and in unison they all added patterns, stomping, sweeping and tapping to the series.

The next musical mix was crafted using match boxes. In other sequences the cast utilized brooms, cans, chalk and snaps to create rhythm. The performers found beats in everything - even kitchen sinks that were filled with cups, dishes and water for a cascade of sounds punctuated by the squeegee.

The finale featured garbage cans, lids and an assortment of objects in an engaging combination of dance, humor and sound. It was the high point of an energizing performance.

STOMP left us with the lasting message to find musical wonder in the worldly. Later when we were sitting in the park at Union Square we heard the sounds of the farmer's market breaking down and there was a pattern to it - dare we say it was musical. Thank you STOMP for giving us a more magical way to perceive the place that we live in!

Related Links: For more information on STOMP and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - STOMP Online | Orpheum Theatre




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