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Unusual percussion sets the
soundtrack for difficult dance steps

Bank of America Theatre
Chicago, IL
April 27, 2010

Story by Andy Argyrakis
Publicity Photos

Considering STOMP co-directors Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas' collective credits include work with Bette Midler, Elvis Costello, Bryan Ferry, the Showtime movie "RIOT" and the 3D IMAX flick "Wild Ocean," it was no surprise this particular dance troupe took on larger than life proportions when it debuted in the UK circa 1991. From then until now, the theatrical production meets percussion concert has toured the globe countless times, hitting 350 cities in 36 countries, building additional momentum with every mile logged.

But the reason the show continues to have fresh appeal is the constantly amended chorography and comic relief that pops up during its most complicated segments, ensuring satisfaction for fresh faces and returning attendees no matter the quantity of times they caught the show. Similar to Blue Man Group, STOMP has both a cult and mainstream following that finds fans holding drum sticks in the audience and pounding along on their seats as the cast sweeps brooms, clangs garbage pales and tosses basketballs with a defined rhythm and mostly catchy cadence.

Along the way, the audience gets to participate by mimicking hand claps, finger snaps and foot stomps, while attempting to keep up with the jaw dropping dancers who are constantly unpredictable and visually alluring. Though some of the noises are a bit jarring and grating at times (like the sounds of sweeping up sand and wrinkling newspapers), scenes involving water splashing and tube tossing are downright hysterical.

There are also several references to pop culture throughout the program, from a couple bars out of Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure" (or is it Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby"?) to an imitation of Fat Albert and exit music featuring The Brothers Johnson's disco smash "Stomp!" Given all these various facets, plus the sheer entertainment factor throughout the remarkably brisk 90 minutes, there's no reason why STOMP won't continue to endure, reeling in newcomers and repeat customers alike.

STOMP continues at the Bank of America Theatre through Sunday, May 2. For additional details, visit


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