Warning to all you parents of teenage boys, take them to see “Stomp” at your peril. No broom, trash can, or paint can, no piece of wooden furniture, no household object capable of emitting a sound by being hit, scraped, bounced or thrown, will be safe from becoming a part of an ongoing percussive display. There will be increasingly loud and increasingly complex rhythmic emissions emanating from all corners of your house … especially if there are hardwood floors. Two teenage boys? Do not say I did not warn you. And it will not stop at percussion. Leaping, sliding, coordinated slapping will just begin to describe the increased physical output you will have unleashed.
The Christmas season seems to bring with it the desire to find light entertainment for the whole family. If “Stomp” is not specifically a seasonal offering it is definitely an amusing and light creation with no specific message or axe to grind. Like Cirque du Soleil and Pilobolus, there are multiple groups touring at any one time, which speaks to its universality. Never having seen another version, despite the fact that they have been in existence over twenty years, I cannot make a comparison.
It is tightly choreographed chaos with a patina of insouciance. The routines, born out of a combination of Celtic dance patterns and street artist performance style, have changed through the years and the result is vigorous, spirited, and feels fresh. The 8 incredibly energetic performers create the sound track out of the assorted flotsam. ‘Look ma, no drums, no instruments, just what I can dig out of the garbage, the house, and the garage.’ Not a word is spoken. The stage set is an artfully assembled structure of junk. Forget about meaning. If you can let yourself go it is a lot of fun.
Would I risk taking kids and unleashing the consequences? Probably yes. Am I glad I checked out what Stomp has to offer? Yes I am. Would I go see them again on my own if and when they return to Los Angeles? Probably not. That is, unless I had some youngsters in tow, and I’ve warned you about the consequences of doing that.