San Jose: ‘Stomp’ returning with a few surprises

The young performers “make a rhythm out of anything we can get our hands on that makes a sound.”

Stomp - Broadway San Jose

Stomp - Broadway San Jose

Stomp is making its return to the Bay Area at Broadway San Jose. The return of the percussive hit also brings new surprises, with sections of the show now updated and restructured, and the addition of two new full-scale routines, utilizing props including tractor tire inner tubes and paint cans.

“After creating new routines for Stomp Out Loud in Vegas, [co-creator] Luke Cresswell and I decided it was time to rework elements of our main production, Stomp,” said co-creator Steve McNicholas. “Stomp has evolved a great deal ever since its first incarnation at the Edinburgh Festival. Every reworking has involved losing some pieces and gaining new ones, but has always stayed true to the original premise of the show: to create rhythmic music with instantly recognizable objects, and do it with an eccentric sense of character and humor.”

The changes that can now be seen in the tour of the show are the biggest since the late 1990’s. A new piece “Paint Cans” evolved out of the “Boxes” routine in the Las Vegas show and “Donuts” is a piece that implements huge tractor tire inner tubes, worn around the waist on a bungee cord. For many years, the creators had looked for a Stomp equivalent of the Latin percussion instrument the guiro, a gourd-shaped open-ended instrument with ridges along the side that are rubbed by a wooden stick to create its sound. The climactic trashcan sequence “Bins” has been restructured to include a guiro-like new found instrument: strip-lighting recycling containers.

From its beginnings as a street performance in the UK, Stomp has grown into an international sensation over the past fourteen years, having performed in over 350 cities in 36 countries worldwide. The continues its run with the ongoing sell-out Off-Broadway production at New York’s Orpheum Theatre, a North American tour, and two productions overseas – a London company and a European tour.

Stomp

Stomp is the winner of an Olivier Award for Best Choreography (London’s Tony Award), a New York Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatre Experience, and a Special Citation from Best Plays.

The young performers “make a rhythm out of anything we can get our hands on that makes a sound,” says co-creator/director Luke Cresswell. Stiff-bristle brooms become a sweeping orchestra; Zippo lighters flip open and closed to create a fiery fugue; wooden poles thump and clack in a rhythmic explosion. Everything but conventional percussion instruments – trashcans, tea chests, plastic bags, plungers, boots, and hubcaps – are used to fill the stage with compelling and infectious rhythms.

Stomp

San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, 255 Almaden Blvd, San Jose

April 12-17, 2011

Single tickets ($20-$69) can be purchased by calling (408) 792-4111 or visiting www.sjtix.com

SHOWS:

7:30 pm Tuesday – Thursday

8pm Friday
2pm and 8pm Saturday
1pm and 6pm Sunday

Photo credit: Junichi Takahashi

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