Friday, January 23, 2015

Review of Stomp at Bank of America Theatre (Broadway in Chicago)

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Stomp. It was created and directed by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas. It was a dance show, but it was percussion plus dance. There were a bunch of different sections where they used everyday objects to make music. Like they would use the sound of a broom as a beat. They make music with stuff that you would never think could make such cool and awesome music. Like who would think a paper soda cup and straw could make music that sounded like it was from the Zelda video game? I had so much fun at this show. The entire time I was laughing because of the little snippets of comedy or I was in shock because what they were doing was so amazing and out of this world! The things they had to do physically to make the music were sometimes very physically demanding, so then when you saw them actually basically defy regular human abilities, you were amazed! If someone makes one wrong move the whole scene can fall apart, but the entire time it was just completely spot-on!

There was a lot of use of everyday things to make music. There was a scene with shopping carts and they all were running into each other and making awesome music. The shopping carts had a water jug and a box in them and they would like throw them up and down, then go back to the shopping cart, then throw them up and down. And they hit them with sticks. And it was so amazing that with just a shopping cart, a jug and a box, you could make such awesome music. I hope it is on iTunes! One of my favorite scenes was when Ivan Delaforce, Alexis Juliano, and Kris Lee were all searching through the garbage and they were making music with whatever they found. Lee blew up this bag and started squeaking it and squeaking it. And one of my other favorites was when she used the Coca-Cola cup. And Delaforce found a little box that he would tap and it made some awesome music. And Juliano had these garbage bags that she would throw and then pat, throw and then pat.

The accuracy of the timing was so important in this and they all did an amazing job with the timing. I loved how they juggled the buckets. I liked the different moments of seeing all the buckets in the air, then they come down and go up again. They were all throwing buckets and when they threw the buckets, they were all throwing them at the same time and another person, who had probably just thrown a bucket, had to catch it! I know they practiced a lot because I don't think anyone on earth could have done that amazingly if they hadn't practiced for like at least 3 hours a day. And every time there was a little bit of suspense, even though you were almost positive that they weren't going to drop it.

This show is very physically demanding. John Angeles, Eric Fay, and Mike Hall pick up oil drums with their feet, and then they use them like stilts and have to walk all the way across the stage, which I think would have been very difficult to do. Also everyone has to have very good rhythm and has to run on and off stage pretty fast to get props and stuff. And their hands must be very hurt at the end because they have to keep clapping and clapping and slapping and slapping and drumming and drumming. And all the people who were in the show were amazing at tap dancing. Tap dancing can be physically challenging, I do it myself some, but then they have to tap while using a shopping cart and drumming. There was this really awesome parts where all the actors were doing something with basically these giant rafts, or donuts, if you will. And I think that would have been hard to do. I really liked it when Delaunce Jackson was playing this donut like it was a bass drum because when you think of a life raft you don't think of using it for that purpose. Also carrying a mop with a thousand moppers on the end, like Andrés Fernandez had to do, would have been probably very hard. (I was very mesmerized but also laughing hysterically.)

This show was not only a dancing show, it was also a comedy show. But they still didn't talk. They made it funny just by looking and the music and how silly they made it and how they acted. One of my favorite parts was when Hall and Fernandez started picking their poofy hair. With Hall it was with his beard. That was funny because two people just coming into the same room and picking their hair together is silly. What is this? Like the grooming break for everyone? And they were sort of competing, but then Fernandez stuck the pick in his hair, and was like, "Yep. No one can see that." I thought that was really funny. One of my favorite funny scenes was the newspaper scene where everyone was reading the newspaper in a little circle. Everyone seemed to crowd around Fernandez and the rest of the stage was empty. Then all of them started making these noises with the paper and tearing them up, which is not what you should do with a paper that you're reading. And then at the end of the scene he taps on his teeth three times with his pen, and they'd all been making so much noise before, but they are like "SHHHHH!"

People who would like this show are people who like newspapers, shopping carts, and flying buckets. This show is so great because there is nothing else like it at all. It is such a great experience. I loved it so much and I had so much fun!

Photos: Steve McNicholas

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