BWW Review: Go at Once to See STOMP at Providence Performing Arts Center
First of all, STOMP at the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC)is a complete hoot! I cannot remember anything I've ever seen that was more fun, more energetic, or more original. It's a totally non-verbal performance combining dance and percussion. The cast of eight performers make music out of everything from matchbooks, to cigarette lighters to, literally, the kitchen sink. In studio art, "found art" is making art out of whatever you might find anywhere, even a junkyard; STOMP is the found art of the stage. The performers start making music with brooms and end up with a percussive symphony on plastic and metal garbage cans. It is an amazing show. How do you find performers like these? Do you look for dancers who can play drums or drummers who can dance? Whatever, these eight took the crowd on a rousing one hour and forty-five-minute trip way out past our expectations. STOMP has some very funny moments, particularly in the audience participation segments and in the nerdy buffoonery of Joe White's character. This is a very kid friendly show-there were tons of kids in last night's audience, and they all seemed to be having as much fun as the adults.
The set looked like a junkyard with various and sundry articles hung on a huge wall. Eventually, every item on the wall was used to create sound and, come to think of it, happiness. The lighting worked well, especially in some of the juggling sequences.
So I think it was a great show, does anybody else? STOMP was created by Steve McNicolas and Luke Creswell in the United Kingdom in 1991. Between 1991 and 1994, the original cast played to capacity audiences around the world. The touring culminated in a season at Sadler Well's Theatre in London in January 1994, where Stomp received an Olivier nomination for the "Best Entertainment Award and won "Best Choreography Award in a West End show." STOMP began its run at the Orpheum Theatre in New York City in February 1994, winning an Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award for Most Unique Theatre Experience, and has been running ever since. By the summer of 1994, the first American cast was in place at the Orpheum, freeing the original cast for a tour of North America and Japan. This is a really good time.
Stomp closes tonight at 8;00 at PPAC, 220 Weybosset St. Providence. Tickets begin at $36.00. The box office can be reached at (401) 421-2787 or online at www.ppacri.org. PPAC is a beautiful facility, completely accessible wit completely accessible bathrooms. It was not a packed house last night, so you still might be able to get tickets. Go ahead-you'll have a blast.