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Sensational ‘STOMP’ show deserves standing ovation

"STOMP"

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It’s difficult to describe “STOMP” if you have never seen a performance. Simply put, it’s music, it’s comedy, and it’s a show everyone should see.

STOMP crew dances to a routine.
STOMP crew dances to a routine.
Photos by Steve McNicholas
STOMP performs a variety of routines.
Photo by Steve McNicholas

Ivan Delaforce, a veteran STOMP performer, describes the production as a rhythmic journey, and he’s right.

What is so amazing is how the journey happens. The performers do not use dialogue. Characters are created through facial expressions, body language and interactions with each other. The percussionists do not use any instruments. Instead they create music from nonconventional objects. In a routine Delaforce called “Frogs”, dryer vent hosing becomes an accordion to create a beat. The resulting sound is similar to the croaking of frogs. In Delaforce’s favorite routine, “Trolleys”, performers create music by pushing shopping carts filled with plastic containers. The troupe uses candy containers, brooms, plastic bags, lighters and more. In fact, the percussionists find a beat in everything AND the kitchen sink. Using a kitchen sink strapped around their necks, four performers play sinks filled with water and utensils.

The show also includes dancing, juggling and audience participation. The opening sketch has the performers dancing with broomsticks. Later, paint cans create a beat while being juggled between performers. In a running bit throughout the entire performance, the audience responds with rhythmic claps when prompted by cast members. Approximately twelve routines are weaved together into a fantastic 90 minute performance without an intermission. Audience members are never bored, and few leave their seats for the restroom. Most audience members only left their seats one time at last Saturday’s performance. It was to give the cast a standing ovation.

Each show only uses eight performers, but the touring production, which has been playing for over two decades now, consists of twelve performers. The performers come from a variety of backgrounds. Some, like Karisma Jay and Andre Meggerson, have studied dance. Others, such as Guido Mandozzi, have an acting background. Most of the twelve have a musical background involving percussion. One of those, Delaforce has been drumming all of his life. (Follow this link for an exclusive in depth interview with Ivan Delaforce.)

Bottom line, “STOMP” has to be experienced to understand it. If you have a bucket list to do before you pass, make sure seeing “STOMP” at least once is on the list. For tour dates and times, check the “STOMP” website.

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