Back in 2006, STOMP celebrated its 5,000th show at the Orpheum Theater in the East Village in New York. There are certain shows that have been around so long, you know they have to be good, no matter how looney the premise (ie. a percussion based dance/comedy troupe that stomps and bangs on stuff for a couple of hours). SEE ALSO: Blue Man Group.
I was lucky enough to catch STOMP at the Orpheum back when the show was only on its double-digits-- very, very early in its run in 1994. (Yes, I'm that old.) Word-of-mouth from some theater-nerd friends... maybe even one of them was on the tech crew? I forget... drove me there on a date. I don't remember the date's name, but his nickname was "Disney" because he had so much Disney crap in his dorm room. Was he gay? Well, if he was, he wasn't out. It was a real date. He smooched me. But that's as far as it went. I'm rather proud of my storied history full of one-and-done dates with guys who would later (not much later) come out of the closet. I don't know if Disney did. Or maybe he was just that rare straight guy who had a Minny Mouse obsession...
... Can you tell I have a fever?
Anyway, I was skeptical. "People hitting stuff?" I said. "That's theater?"
Yes. Yes, it is folks. And it's been totally inspiring fifteen years' worth of audiences all across the world.
Theater, spectacle, whatever you want to call it. Dance? Music? Sure. All of that. But mostly it is just good, loud, high-energy, how-the-hell-did-they-do-that? kind of fun. At least in 1994.
Disney and I danced around and banged on sh*t all the way to the subway and the entire subway back to Morningside Heights. Trash cans, subway walls, Zippos, each other... cut me some slack, we were in our early 20's and theater nerds.
That that kind of physical, kinetic, sweaty energy didn't lead up to some kind of Love Connection between me & Disney that night leads me to only three possible conclusions: (a) Disney was gay, (b) the idea of making the beast-with-two-backs under a poster of the mouse-with-four-fingers didn't really light my fire, or (c) we were both just worn out from all the banging.
Go see STOMP at the Kentucky Center this weekend. Friday at 8pm. Saturday at 5p & 8pm. Sunday at 3pm & 7pm. There's an Arena-based traffic advisory for Saturdays shows. You can check it out here.