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Theater

Review: Cast of 'Stomp' sweeps itself into hearts of audiences at Palace

| Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, 8:09 a.m.
“Stomp” kicked off its national tour at The Palace Theatre Nov. 24, 2018. This photo shows a cast from a past show.
Steve McNicholas
“Stomp” kicked off its national tour at The Palace Theatre Nov. 24, 2018. This photo shows a cast from a past show.

Audiences leaving The Palace Theatre, Greensburg, over the weekend will never look at a broom the same way ever again.

…Or a shopping cart, tire, garbage can, pole, inner tube, lighter, basketball, newspaper or sink.

That’s because the cast of “Stomp” conducted an impressive clinic on the possibilities these items, among others, hold for percussive entertainment.

It was the debut of a new national tour of the heralded show, launched in London in 1991.

The cast members proved, in a performance Saturday and two Sunday, that they are more than ready for the demands of taking their production on the road.

“Stomp” has visited the Palace in 2008, 2010, 2014 and 2016. And it probably will be back sooner than later.

Into the spirit

An enthusiastic crowd, from children to senior citizens, turned out for the matinee Sunday and quickly got into the spirit of probably one of the most unusual, but thoroughly satisfying theatrical presentations, one that is easier (and far more fun) to experience than to describe.

Although the person who referred to it as a “joyful, witty and wordless show” was on the mark.

There is no real storyline, but there are scenes or “experiences” in which this talented, energetic troupe delights with its own form of magic, using “found” objects to amaze with intriguing sounds, visuals, movement and humor.

Silent communication

They communicated with the audience, and among themselves, with facial expressions and gestures.

Nothing, it seems, is ruled out as a potential “drum,” including choreographed shopping carts (you had to be there!); oil barrels, which some of the cast employed as huge shoes into which they secured their feet, walking and stomping across the stage; and kitchen sinks secured around their necks as they marched out like a drum line in a band.

Someone in the audience remarked, “They’re using everything you can think of.”

And they were.

Part of the fun was wondering what was going to happen next. Each “next” brought smiles.

Physically demanding

“Stomp,” presented without intermission, has to be a physically demanding show for cast members.

They were regularly in motion, sometimes intensely so, especially in the final segment where the drumming is particularly powerful and non-stop.

The audience is included as participants at various points, accepting the silent invitation to help with the percussive claps and other sounds.

Children were clearly getting a kick out of the funnier moments and it was easy to envision them wanting to raid their family broom closets when they returned home.

We can only imagine what is going to happen the next time they join mom or dad at the grocery store.

Rex Rutkoski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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