Regional Reviews: Cincinnati
For over a decade, Stomp has thrilled audiences around the world, and a return engagement to Cincinnati demonstrates that this difficult-to-categorize show is still hip, fresh, and exhilarating.
Stomp is a unique blend of percussion and dance with an urban edge. The performers use a myriad of everyday objects such as garbage cans, brooms, tubes, water cooler bottles, newspapers, lighters, and yes, even kitchen sinks, to create music with a pounding and driving beat. While drumming on these objects, the five men and three women on stage also tap and stomp their feet in rhythmic precision, adding further to the visual and audio delights presented.
Creators and Directors Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas have staged the intermissionless Stomp with a manic pace that leaves no possibility for boredom. The manipulation of the various props captures the eye, and the mixing of sounds produced by the perfomers' feet and "instruments" provides an ever-changing variety in the music. With plenty of comedy and audience participation thrown in as well, Stomp remains a crowd pleaser. The garage-inspired set, littered with street signs and hubcaps, and the grunge style costumes are a perfect fit for the show. There is also exceptionally effective lighting rendered by McNicholas and Neil Tiplady.
An amazingly high energy level is required of all eight performers, and each is up to the task. With likeable stage personalities, great dancing, and professional percussion skills, these young adults are a different brand of triple-threat performers. Though the Playbill doesn't distinguish between the main performers and the three swings, it is safe to say that each of the following is deserving of praise: Harold Kekoa Bayang, Andres Fernandez, Khalid Freeman, Brad Holland, Tonya Kay, Noah Mosgofian, John Sawicki, Sophia Sharp, Carlos Thomas, Elizabeth Vidos, and Sheilynn Wactor.
Stomp is a cool presentation of first-rate percussion and heart-pounding choreography. The show continues at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati through November 16, 2003. To order tickets, please call (800) 294-1816.-- Scott Cain