After 20 years off-Broadway, Stomp tickets still sell out as performers make ordinary objects a cacophonous good time seven times a week. Looking for a show for the kids to get in on the action? Try tickets to one of Stomp’s weekend matinees – but you may want to buy your Stomp tickets well in advance as Saturday shows often are the most popular.
In the spring of 1994, the New York Times wrote about an off-Broadway show of so-called "percussive dance" that had taken New York's theater world by storm. The paper called Stomp
"exuberant," resulting in "delighted audiences" and "rave reviews." The show's producers predicted it had legs to stay at the East Village's Orpheum Theater for at least a few more months.
Twenty years later, Stomp
is still marching to the beat of its own unconventional drum at the Orpheum, delighting audiences from all over the world with its eclectic method of making music with everyday household objects. Having racked up both Obie and Drama Desk Awards, Stomp
has enjoyed a long run and such immense popularity, at least in part because of the universality of its message (which is conveyed wordlessly and without a traditional plot): Who needs a symphony orchestra when you have buckets, pans, toothpicks and broomsticks at your disposal?
Entering the Orpheum Theater is like entering a stage set or a junkyard. Every inch of the space is plastered with streetlights, hubcaps, subway signs, car fenders, mannequins and scrap metal of all stripes; ordinary objects that come to life in the hands of Stomp
's immensely talented performers, who also display an impressive capacity for physical comedy – a move as subtle as a hip shake or an arched eyebrow sends the audience into fits of laughter.
The cast dresses like hip construction workers: tattered jeans and worn-down tees, scuffed work boots with electrical tape wound around the toes. There is no dialogue, but threads of dance, comedy and sound are woven together to create a narrative of sorts. Each performer conveys their own personality trait – some cast members are serious, others are playful, but all of them engage and interact with the audience in different ways.
The show begins with the simple sweep of a broom. A performer, dressed like a janitor, "cleans" the stage with a simple rhythm. He is joined by additional performers, all bearing brooms, and the sweeping sounds build and grow into a throbbing and pulsating rhythm that grows to command the space. The sweeps, beats, bangs, cracks, crashes, shakes, claps and snaps continue for an hour and forty-five minutes as the performers blend percussion with dance, stomping out rhythms with everything from a simple book of safety matches to modified garbage-can monster-shoes.
Each act features similarly non-traditional instruments: one scene with Zippo lighters casts a quiet, hypnotic spell; another uses newspapers to create a hilarious play-within-a-play. And just when you might think that the performers are using everything but the kitchen sink for their merry music-making – out come some kitchen sinks, which the performers bang on with abandon. Stomp
’s energy and excitement is contagious and the beat stays with you long after you leave the theater, transforming the city into a grand urban symphony. It might even leave you pondering: Who needs the Philharmonic when you have Stomp
One hour and 45 minutes (no intermission)
Good for Kids?
Kids under five are not permitted to Stomp
. Ages five and up will love the never-ending noise (though it does get bone-rattling loud at points) and much of the physical comedy is at their level. Audience participation throughout the show keeps everyone engaged. The performance, however, runs one hour and 45 minutes without an intermission, so restless children might not make it all the way through. Aspiring performers and drummers will appreciate that performers pose for photographs in the lobby following the show.
Did you know?
Besides appearances on the Academy Awards and in HBO and IMAX productions, Stomp
cast members took part in the closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics.
The show has become such an institution in New York that in 2004, on its tenth anniversary at the Orpheum, the city renamed the block around the theater "Stomp Avenue."
Stomp Ticket Info:
NewYork.com offers Stomp
tickets, as well as access to the latest information about Stomp
, and much more. Click here
to view the schedule, check prices, availability, and get current offers on tickets to Stomp