STOMP: A review of their stage show | Kids Out and About Albany

STOMP: A review of their stage show


A review of their performance at
Philadelphia's Merriam Theater

Reviewed by Debra Ross

STOMP is a group of dancers/performers/percussionists (it's very hard to describe them in one word) that uses ordinary objects, and their bodies, to create marvelous rhythmical sounds. Many of you may remember this group's big-screen movie Pulse, a STOMP Odyssey, which you can find on Netflix.

Our family fell in love with the rhythms of that movie, and we've even rented it subsequently from Netflix. So we were extremely eager to see their on-stage performance, as we missed them the last time they were around in Rochester. I was pleased to be in Philadelphia when they were there recently.

Pulse had no words, and neither does STOMP's stage performance. My kids (ages 6 and 8) found the performance extremely enjoyable, and my friend's 7-year-old son practically vibrated with excitement the whole time. It is a 1-hour-and-45-minute show with no intermission, and it's often quite loud, which may be a difficult on babies. Sometimes, though, it's very soft. My friend's son wears hearing aids, and loud sounds are often too much for him, but he told me that it was fine, and that he could even hear the very soft sounds (as when the rhythms were made by clicks from lighters).

When making ticket reservations, it's important to know what to expect. My husband had assumed that the stage show would be as beautiful as the movie, which was filmed with different rhythm performing groups all around the world, with wonderful costumes, gorgeous scenery, and a sense of how the rhythms of different cultures bring out both the uniqueness of the culture and a way for any individual to make a connection it. The stage performance of STOMP, though, is just the main STOMP group, whose signature is an urban grittiness. The beauty lies in their ability to coax complex rhythms and sounds from ordinary objects, and in the athleticism required to pull this off in the nearly perfect way they do. I was aware of this in advance, so I wasn't disappointed. But David was.

The show is often very humorous, in a G-rated way except for once, which went over the kids' head. The tissue-in-the-nose joke fell flat for us adults even the first time, but even the third time was hilarious for a 7-year-old boy.

Show often bill themselves as "Fun for the Whole Family," but this usually means that there are different bits that may be fun for parts of your family, but which must be endured by others. You go to a Dora The Explorer show mostly for the sake of your kids, for example, and you drag them to classical music concerts. But STOMP is different; it really does appeal to the whole family, all of it, all the time. (Except for the tissue-in-the-nose joke.)

So if you're going to spend your money on something for the whole family, definitely consider STOMP. For 2015, they'll be at the Palace Theatre in Stamford, CT on January 8 at 7pm. Tickets are $29.50-$49.50 and are available by clicking here.

©2011, Updated for 2015.