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‘Stomp’ proves there’s no slowing down

I remember watching the HBO special “Stomp Out Loud,” in the 1997.

The performers in the show were astonishing and intriguing with their skills.

Flash forward two decades and it seems that “Stomp” — like a fine wine — has aged very well.

On Tuesday night at Popejoy Hall, the traveling show made its first of two performances in Albuquerque.

And what a performance it was.

During the show, the performers utilize objects such as basketballs, broomsticks, plastic tubes, shopping carts and even trash cans. There were plenty of others, but I won’t name all of them.

Oh, not to mention, even a kitchen sink.

The performers never uttered a word of dialog — body language was all they needed.

There were many comedic moments. And hearing the children in the audience laugh immediately brought a smile to my face.

“Stomp” was created in Brighton, United Kingdom, in 1991. It is the result of a 10-year collaboration between its creators, Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas.

In 1991, Cresswell and McNicholas previewed the show at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre and premiering at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh.

Between 1991 and 1994, the original cast played to capacity audiences around the world: from Hong Kong to Barcelona, from Dublin to Sydney.

The touring culminated in a sell-out season at London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

In the summer of ’95, two more American productions were created for the sole purpose of U.S. touring, which continues to this day. U.S. casts have also debuted “Stomp” in Chile, Brazil and Korea.

Since then, “Stomp” has performed in more than 350 cities and 36 countries.

The latest iteration features some heavy hitting performers.

Jonathon Elkins, Alexis Juliano, Cary Lamb Jr., Kris Lee, Artis Olds, Jeremy Price, Ivan Salazar and Cade Slattery all held their own.

Whether it was with the percussion aspects or the simple comedy, each one showed lots of range.

While it’s difficult to choose which of the many numbers was best — there’s a number where they all have lighters and it’s simply stunning — one is close to my heart.

There may be a bias, but my smile got 10 times bigger when a few of the members came out on stage with newspapers. The sounds that emerged were sweet music to my ears.

For nearly two hours, the performers not only entertained, but got the audience involved. It was a moment of escapism. A moment the entire crowd seemed to welcome.

This is a family-friendly show, too.

It’s also one that inspires — whether it’s wondering what sounds daily objects make or sitting in astonishment of the performers’ talent.

If you get the chance, make sure to see the show because it’s worth it — you might find yourself stomping along with the show.

If you go
WHAT: “Stomp”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21
WHERE: Popejoy Hall, University of New Mexico campus
HOW MUCH: $35-$100, plus fees at unmtickets.com, UNM Bookstore ticket office, UNM ticket office at The Pit, by phone at 925-5858 or 877-664-8661

 

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