‘Stomp’ gets wild with the familiar
Vail CO, Colorado
Although slightly familiar with the “idea” of “Stomp” ” thanks to Google and some old TV commercials ” I wasn’t prepared for how fun and engaging this show actually was. A national touring production of “Stomp” is running at the Denver Center’s Buell Theatre through March 9.
From the initial synchronized sweep of the brooms that sent the dust flying around the stage, I was caught up in the antics of the cast, eagerly anticipating their next move and wondering what the next “instrument” would be.
From the very beginning, each member of the cast played an important part in the success of the show. There was the fearless leader, the klutzy comedians, the vulnerable, the delightfully quirky, the jaded and sarcastic ” with each personality as crucial as the next.
Along with those personalties comes an abundance of rhythm and versatility by the barrelful … literally. They made music out of such everyday things as pots, buckets, brooms and mops, newspapers, matchboxes, trashcans, hubcaps, rubber hoses, plungers and kitchen sinks. Nothing was safe from their makeshift drumsticks, or busy hands and feet. There was a larger-than-life number where three of the guys were wearing what looked like ski boots with barrels strapped to their feet. They managed to do a wonderfully creative type of tap-dancing ” in a manner of speaking ” with these giant props, creating a deep rumbling type of music that had me wanting more.
The set was arranged on two levels, with most of the show performed on the stage, or lower, level. However, at one point, there were cast members on both sections of the stage, and even strapped to a higher part of the set, so that the music was coming at the audience from every angle. It completely engulfed the packed Buell in a frenzy of sound and activity.
Although “Stomp” played straight through without an intermission, it seemed like we were reaching the end all too soon. The finale was spectacular, giving every cast member the chance to shine. The perfect synchronization of the performers with the objects they used, as well as each other; the dance steps that were employed; the timing and the energy is not an accident. It is a miracle.
Overall, the music coaxed from a crazed array of ordinary objects by a truly talented cast had me dancing in my seat. I couldn’t have stopped my feet from tapping and bouncing even if it had been court-ordered.
And … I will never look at a bathroom plunger the same way again.
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