Stomping Ground

Eight of us descended upon the Theater formerly known as Schubert in the Majestic Building on Monroe Street for opening night of the one-week stay of Stomp.  It’s currently called the BofA Theater, and formerly the LaSalle Bank Theater, as they funded the extensive rehab.  This building has quite a colorful history here in Chicago, but that’s for another post.  We purchased our tickets right at the theater box office about a week before the event, paid $20 per seat center nosebleed, and skipped all the fees that any online ticket seller would have charged.  We were able to see exactly what was available and were given friendly advice as to which seats would be best for all of us to sit together. It’s a small enough theater that the balcony seats are great, especially for taking in the production as a whole.  As with any dance performance, it’s easier to see the intended formations from afar, but you’re not at such a distance that the facial expressions and subtle body movements get lost.

I’d seen the show ages ago and was mildly impressed.  That is to say, I thought it was cool, but I wasn’t blown away.  Last night however, was a completely different experience.  The show was nonstop for nearly two hours, but it left you wanting more.  The cast of 8 were extremely talented both as musicians and dancers and were adept at keeping the energy of the show flowing as they weaved their way through several percussive styles.   They mastered drum core rhythms, African beats, tap dancing, and threw in a bit of capoeira.   But the best part by far was all the humor.  Not an intelligible word was spoken the entire show, but the cast was masterful at body language.  Their use of everyday items as instruments was fabulous.  There was the typical (for this group) use of garbage can lids and oil drums but they used everyday items (cups, bags) – everything including the kitchen sink, no really. 

This show is only in town for a week, and I would highly recommend getting seats if there are tickets left.  It’s a wonderful production and will keep you laughing and clapping along for the entire show.  The final moment of the evening was the little girl out in front of the theater after the show with a set of drumsticks banging alternately on the sidewalk and garbage can in her frilly dress.  I bet she’ll drive her mom crazy for the next week, playing every surface in her house reliving the night. I envy her just a bit.






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