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STOMP ~ National Theatre

Jordan Wright
April 24, 2019
Photo credit The National Theater DC

STOMP has a long history as a crowd-pleaser with its roots going back over a quarter of a century.  Since that time the percussion-heavy, wordless sensation has been performed in over 50 countries and in front of 24 million people.  STOMP has won countless theater awards as well as an Academy Award nomination, four Emmy noms and one Emmy Award for the HBO special Stomp Out LoudAdditionally, its talents were featured at the closing ceremonies for the London Olympics as well as The Academy Awards.  It’s a show that speaks to everyone’s sense of rhythm, creativity and a sustaining beat.  It paralells the rhythm, not always discernible, that weaves in and out of our daily lives – sometimes chaotic, other times in harmony.

Eight performers – four women and four men – produce rhythmic sounds on an extensive variety of everyday items – from metal trash cans, matchboxes and push brooms, to dust pans, newspapers, and more.  Ever notice the sound of a straw squeaking in and out of a plastic cup lid?  Add that to the bass sound of a blown-up plastic bag when it’s stroked or thumped and a plastic shopping bag when it’s shaken rhythmically.

To accompany these unique sound combinations, performers keep the beat with their feet or hands, slapping thighs or simply clapping, an activity the audience is invited to participate in.  One routine, played out with long poles and mallets, takes on the primal appearance of a Maasai jumping dance.  Each routine leads to another interaction among the group of performers who provide silent, interactive comic relief.

There are times in this show when it is comparable to the cadence of a military drill, others when it is a coordinated, controlled frenzy and objects go flying across the stage.  It takes some serious hand-eye coordination to pull off metal lids or basketballs tossed and caught in ever-evolving circles of activity.

High-octane, toe-tapping, finger-snapping, kinetic energy.  Find your rhythm and go.  Especially exciting for kids.

Created and directed by Luke Creswell and Steve McNicholas with Lighting by Steve McNicholas. Starring Kayla Cowart, Jonathon Elkins, Alexis JulianoCary Lamb, Jr., Guido Mandozzi, Artis Olds, Jeremy Price, Krystal Renée, Ivan Salazar, Cade Slattery, Steve Weiss and Joe White.

Through Sunday, April 28th at The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.  For tickets and information web or call 1-800-514-3849 or at the box office weekdays from noon till 6pm.

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