BWW Review: STOMP Leaves a Hard to Fill Footprint in a Special Performance Art Show
Growing up, my favorite part of any rock concert was the drum solo. Whether it was Carl Palmer's spinning drum set, Ray Cooper's wild antics or Phil Collins and Chester Thompson trading beats, there was something magical about the eight minutes percussion insanity.
Although they had wildly different styles and skills, those drummers all had something in common. Mainly they had drum sets. The maniacally talented performers from STOMP do not have that advantage. The dozen percussionists and performers prove that one's garbage can be another person's instrument. The show, created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas in 1991, had a brief stopover in Columbus March 10-12 at the Palace Theatre (34 W. Broad Street in downtown Columbus).
Andrew Brought, Jonathon Elkins, Alexis Juliano, Kris Lee, Guido Mandozzi, Artis Olds, Manny Osoria, Jeremy Price, Krystal Renee, Ivan Salazar, Cade Slattery and Simeon Weedall enthralled most of the Columbus crowd with the raucous hour and a half. The one possible exception was a youngster who kept clamoring "Mommy, I want to go" through the opening stanza of the performance.
Brought started the show off with a push broom and was soon joined by a chorus of other performers creating a cacophony of sounds using newspapers, soda cups and straws, tubes, pipes, inner tubes, trash cans and Zippo lighters. They used everything including the kitchen sink which a handful of performers wore during one of the numbers. The synchronization among the percussionists was spellbinding.
Although there was no dialogue in the show, each one of these performers created a memorable character. Mandozzi was a personal favorite as the clumsy, ostracized member of the group while Brought displayed a cool confidence as the group's leader. Elkins created a menagerie of animals from a newspaper, climaxing with a turkey to close a selection.
The 12 performers played through the set with a wink and nod, breaking the fourth wall to exhorting the audience to clap along with several numbers. While the show didn't have lyrics, sing-alongs, or heart- swelling crescendos as most rock concerts do, most of the audience walked away with the feeling they had witnessed something special.