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December 01, 1995 - Image 90

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-12-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.





f the thou-
sands of peo-
ple who saw
Stomp at the
Fisher The-
atre last De-
cember, a few
probably recall being a little baf-
Not by the performance. By
the crowd.
Ticket holders meandering be-
neath the building's gilded ceil-
ings before the show looked
better prepared for the mosh pit
at a Pearl Jam concert than for
an evening at the theater.
But part ofStomp's phenome-
nal success has been its appeal
to teen-agers and young adults.
And when the show returns to
Detroit for 16 shows Dec. 5-17,
you can bet on seeing more pairs
of Doc Martens shuffling down
the aisles of the Fisher than dur-
ing any other performance the
theater has hosted in 1995.
Just what is Stomp? It's al-
most easier to describe what it


isn't: It isn't conventional drama; Richard Frankel Productions.
it has no plot; its characters hard- "You've grown over the course of
ly ever speak; it's the polar op- the show. You tend to listen dif-
posite of the 16-set Andrew Lloyd ferently to the rhythms of the
Webber visual extravaganza.
world around you — cars honk-
Instead, the percus-
sive pranksters that in-
habit Stomp serve up
an aural feast, gar-
nished by nothing more
than their own physi-
cal acrobatics and
funky irreverence.
Basically, the eight-
member cast bangs
things around —
ga;bage-can lids, oil
drums, tubes, hub caps
— creating rhythmic vi-
gnettes with surpris-
ingly seductive results. The click ing, people going up and down
of a lighter, the crunching of the stairs."
newspaper print, the swish of a
Routh helped bring Stomp to
stiff-bristled broom are all ele- New York's Orpheum Theatre in
vated to song.
early 1994, after seeing the show
"To me, the really cool thing in Toronto. By that time, it had
about Stomp is that you go on a been more than two years since
journey," says Marc Routh, who British creators Luke Cresswell
co-produces the show with and Steve McNicholas, former

street-cabaret performers, pre-
miered the work at the Edin-
burgh Fringe Festival, where
critics showered Stomp with ac-
colades. The piece continued to
rake in awards and ex-
posure (including a
commercial for Coca-
Cola) before landing at
the Orpheum and si-
multaneously signing
on for a U.S. tour.
The original, all-
British cast is now split
among three troupes
that tour the country
concurrently and per-
form a grueling eight
times a week. Because
shows are so physical-
ly exhausting, each Stomp crew
includes 11 members who rotate
performance schedules.
Routh says the new American
cast members will lend this year's
Detroit shows a different feel.
"The American performers audi-
tioned," he points out, "whereas
the original cast came together

A di erent crowd follows
this show, but why not?
Its a different sort

Stomp: Serving up an aural feast at the
Fisher Theatre Dec. 5-17.

as friends." The result is that new
troupe members tend to possess
even more acrobatic proficiency
and many are classically trained
In fact, more than 700 actors,
dancers and drummers sweat-
ed through Chorus Line-style
tryouts for Stomp earlier this
year in New York. The few who
jibed with Cresswell's and Mc-
Nicholas' fine-tuned sensibilities
("They have a special aesthetic
and it doesn't have to do with
our image of what's right," says
Routh) then spent three months
in rehearsals before hitting the
Why has Stomp attracted such
a hep crowd? A few reasons: the
cast's urban-punk demeanor, the
purely visceral thrill, the lower-
than-normal ticket prices and, of
course, advertising. Routh and
Frankel have done a winning job

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