Martha and I first enjoyed “Stomp” more than 20 years ago, so when its touring version announced a return to St. Louis, I suggested we go see it again. I’m glad we did, because we had a great time Saturday afternoon at the Fabulous Fox.
So did hundreds of children in the audience, who were enthralled by the performers turning all sorts of things — brooms, buckets, bags, and several others that don’t start with B — into instruments of percussion. I’m sure many of those kids went home and started banging on everything in their homes, eventually making their parents wish they hadn’t exposed them to the show in the first place.
“Stomp,” which debuted on Broadway 25 years ago, is one of those theatrical events that can tour forever because it has no dialogue and no stars. Yes, there’s one performer who takes the lead in a few sequences, and another who clowns around more than the others, but — like “Mummenshanz” a few decades ago or “Blue Man Group” and “Blast” more recently — the cast members are interchangeable and there’s no language barrier. Thus the same people who show off their dancing, timing, and noisemaking skills in North America can work in South America, Europe, Asia, or Africa.
As for the kids, if they learned about rhythm and movement and the creativity of turning everyday items into elements of fun, it was totally worth it. I know it was for us.