2 thoughts on “Enjoy a Night on the Town – STOMP

  1. Thought you all might be interested in Bill Blankenship’s review. I was fortunate enough to spend the day with eight of the cast members and I enjoyed every minute of it. They kept me laughing and I was in awe of their musical/rhythmic talent.
    – Erin Aldridge
    Marketing Manager – TPAC

    Review: Beat your feet to TPAC to see STOMP
    Tonight’s final performance at TPAC well worth venturing out on a frigid night
    By Bill Blankenship
    The Capital-Journal
    Published Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 12:49 p.m. CST
    STOMP has still got rhythm and excitement and laughs and a wondrous kind of joy.

    Bill Blankenship / The Capital-Journal
    The cast of STOMP does its opening sequence, “Brooms,” Tuesday night on the stage of the Topeka Performing Arts Center, where it returns tonight for its second and last show of its tour stop in Topeka.
    The all-percussion musical returned Tuesday night to the stage of the Topeka Performing Arts Center where it last played in 1998.

    STOMP not only hasn’t lost a step in the intervening decade. In fact, it has picked up several new ones with recent reworkings of the production by co-creators Luke Creswell and Steve McNicholas.

    The new gags were great, such as “Paint Cans” which involved beating out rhythms on dozens of the containers while keeping at least one of them flying from one performer’s hands to another’s in a juggling-meets-drumming fashion.

    Another new routine, “Donuts,” had cast members wearing around their waists huge inner tubes on bungee cord suspenders. Striking the various sized tubes with drumsticks produced an amazingly melodic sort of noise.

    And it is exactly that phenomenon — a shared human experience of serendipitous sound — that has made STOMP a sensation since 1991.

    Somewhere back in our collective memories has to be that recollection of being an infant and discovering the sound one can make shaking a rattle or learning as a toddler that hitting a soup pot with a wooden spoon makes a delightful clang and makes Mom or Dad jump.

    STOMP mixes that spoon-striking-pot, childlike simplicity with the rhythmic skills of professional theatrical performers.

    For a solid and joyfully noisy 90 minutes, the eight members of STOMP beat out various rhythms on all sorts of things, matchbooks, Zippo lighters, garbage cans, brooms, even kitchen sinks.

    Some of the cast, which changes from show to show on a rotating basis, demonstrated true tap dancing skills and athletic abilities. Others stood out as clowns, including one portly performer who delighted the opening night audience with comedic sloth interspersed with bursts of kinetic energy.

    However, each cast member put his or her unique stamp on the production whether with drumming or dance or slapstick or mere stage presence.

    STOMP, the sound level of which was right on opening night at TPAC, isn’t just an aural treat with its driving rhythms. It is a visual one, too, with its massive set, and superb lighting that punctuated the show.

    Based on the ovation and comments made as folks exited, nearly all of the 1,200 who saw STOMP’s opening night probably would join me in highly recommending catching the show’s closing performance tonight.

    Although another 1,200 or so tickets have been sold for tonight’s show, but there are plenty of good seats available, so beat your feet to TPAC and see STOMP.

    Bill Blankenship can be reached at (785) 295-1284 or bill.blankenship@cjonline.com.

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