For the second time, I just spent a night at the theater in which no words were spoken yet it was full of activity, sound, engagement, conversation, relationships and audience interaction. Seeing STOMP was just as exciting and invigorating as it was the first time. I’m already ready to see it again!
Watching STOMP is like getting in touch with your inner child – the one who wants to grab onto a grocery cart and sail down the aisles. Or the one who wants to sit on the kitchen floor with a wooden spoon and start banging on every pot and pan with wild abandon. Anything can be a drum or make noise or rhythm when you’re in the presence of the crew from STOMP which is back in town, paying The Buell Theatre until February 18. I will never again think the same way about work boots, matchboxes, push brooms, sand, trash cans, dust pans, and, literally, the kitchen sink.
The performers, working in an ensemble and small groupings, use everyday objects to make music and rhythm. When the show needs new supplies, it must be easy and cheap to re-stock. Just hit alleys, junk yards and hardware stores. The group is so cohesive that, although being responsible for individual parts, they create a whole that is pulsating and mesmerizing. They toss tubes and cans at each other with such ease and confidence, it’s like everything is connected by invisible wires. STOMP is a consuming, whole-body experience that needs to be had. It’s funny, with likeable characters developed solely through body language since not a word is spoken.
Some of the numbers are quiet and mellow with newspaper and plastic bags creating the extent of the noise. But it does build too with giant oil drums, trash can lids, signs and pots and pans being clanged and banged so that you literally feel it in your bones! I’m positive my heartbeat changed with the beat. Everything culminates with an encore with one guy and the audience clapping and snapping together. For me, in these tumultuous times, it sent the message that “we are all one.” It would have been a really poignant, quiet, solitary but unified way to leave the show – if it weren’t for a few people who just had to break the silence with their shouts. You don’t HAVE to be heard, people! Just let it be.
Perhaps the best part about STOMP is that it is about seeing things outside the box, looking at ordinary things in extraordinary ways and just having fun! It’s a fantastic show for kids, reigniting the imaginations that worked beautifully before electronics told them how to express their imaginations.
Open those kitchen cabinets and raid the garage, people! Make some noise and have free-form fun! Let STOMP inspire you.
Hurry and buy tickets by calling 303-893-4100 or visit www.denvercenter.org, the only authorized online ticket provider for this production in Denver. STOMP is here only through February 18! Also be aware that there are now new security measures in place. All of the details are on the website.