Review: “STOMP” at Broadway Sacramento
It’s a strange experience witnessing STOMP in 2019. Nearly three decades have passed since the dance-percussion show created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas first premiered in Edinburgh in 1991. In that time, STOMP has become a worldwide phenomenon, sweeping brooms and banging garbage cans all over the world. While nightly improvisation keeps it fresh, STOMP still seems at home in its ’90s aesthetic and sensibility.
From the grunge-inspired clothes to the sitcom-y relationships between cast members, the show feels like the product of a bygone era, when people worked in video rental stores and Pogs were a thing.
A scene where several performers read newspapers (and rustle, crumple and tear them up) feels very “of its time” now that we live in an age of digital media, with devices that whistle and chirp all on their own. If STOMP were any other show, it might have introduced a smartphone segment to stay relevant. Fortunately, STOMP isn’t any other show.
Its relationship to the texture of sound is what helps it stand the test of time. The precision of movement and rhythm achieved from recycling junkyard treasures is rejuvenating. Add audience interaction into the mix, and the production becomes two hours of percussive therapy.
At its heart, STOMP is about letting rhythm inspire what was once mundane—taking the old and forgotten and repurposing it into something new, something that will have you clapping and stomping long after the show ends.