‘Stomp’ at Orpheum Theatre – Review
Ever wonder what it would be like if the sorcerer’s apprentice formed an orchestra that went beyond brooms? Wonder no more, the conceit behind this show, whose creators very aptly named it STOMP, is that of a 90-minute immersive musical experience – performed without a single traditional instrument – at the Orpheum Theatre in the East Village in Manhattan.
While there’s no dialog as such (although there is some magnificent acting) and no overarching plot is to be discerned, there are running gags and memorable as well as entertaining sketches.
Even without dialog, members of the “Stomp” ensemble credibly interact and communicate with each other – as well as with the audience, which is provided with opportunities to participate at various times during the performance.
In addition to the brooms, which brought visions of Mickey Mouse in Fantasia to mind, the cast employs hoses, garbage cans, pots and pans, tubes, boots, and wooden sticks… everything but the kitchen sink I thought and then, voilà, they used that too. Newspapers, shopping carts, and Zippo lighters also played a supporting role.
The cast does stomp continually throughout the performance, which led me to wonder whether the theater designer, and particularly the stage builder, had advanced degrees in structural engineering. Indeed the eight cast members also clap, jump, tap, click, and sweep their way through the show, employing all of the mentioned props and more.
“Stomp,” which had its premiere at the Edinburgh Festival in 1991 and first came to New York in 1994, is not only a long running hit in the East Village but is also on the boards in London’s West End and is currently on tour in North America.
While non-traditional, “Stomp” is a powerful and mesmerizing show. Who knew that everything including the kitchen sink could be so entertaining?
126 2nd Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10003
(Photos: Accura Media Group)