Short & Sweet: 'STOMP' is timeless, innovative and creative

Daily Herald reader and guest critic Leah Groat of Crystal Lake joined Diana Martinez at the Broadway Playhouse to see a more intimate production of much lauded "STOMP." Performed without words or songs, the ensemble show entertains and delights entirely through rhythm, making the audience laugh, and even play along in places.

"I loved it," Groat said. "There was just so much going on, I was overwhelmed and in a really good way. There was nothing to get bored with."

A teacher, Groat said the show would be great for her students to see. The cast takes everyday objects, such as a pipe or lighter, and makes a scene out of it, making you laugh, said Martinez. Groat agreed.

"Any of my students could pick up an object and do something with it," Groat said. "I think that's really insipiring and I think that's neat for all the little kids sitting there," adding that she wouldn't be surprised if the kids who saw the show would go home and try out similar rhythm play with objects at home.

"It was more than just music - it was acrobatics, it was gymnastics, it was everything like that," Groat said. "I was just so amazed by their talent. Without ever speaking or singing or anything, they totally engaged everybody."

See below for a review by Diana Martinez of Broadway in Chicago:

"STOMP" has jumped back into Chicago and it is better than ever at the up-close and personal Broadway Playhouse. "Stomp" is like improvisational sketch rhythm. A fierce cast of eight play everything from a box of matches to, quite literally, the kitchen sink in this engaging, funny and exciting performance. "STOMP" originally opened in 1991 and the longevity of the show is not the only testament to its appeal. "STOMP" has been an overwhelming success marked by rave reviews, numerous awards, an Academy Award nomination, four Emmy nominations and one Emmy Award for their acclaimed HBO special, "Stomp Out Loud."

There is a reason that this show has performed in 24 countries, and it's because it speaks to EVERYONE. It speaks through witty, comedic. staging without uttering a single word. This opening night ensemble had the audience laughing, gasping and cheering them on in a creative, explosive, one of a kind performance. The show even has a few challenges for the audience to try and imitate the cast's rhythm in a clapping game. Daily Herald reader Leah Groat from Crystal Lake was my guest audience critic and her date was the only one among us who could keep up with them, but we all had a great time trying.

The show's creators, Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, originated the show over 20 years ago and continue to perfect and change things each year. This season they have added two new pieces and let's just say you will never walk behind a shopping cart quite the same! The ensemble cast is amazing and John Angeles stands out as the leader of the troupe. He is equally matched by the acrobatics and comic-timing of self-taught dancer and percussionist Reggie Talley, whose honest edge, raw talent and warm smile make him an audience favorite.

"STOMP" is now playing at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place through Jan. 1, 2017. This show runs about 1 hour and 45 minutes without an intermission. The show is appropriate for all ages and truly fun for the entire family and it's also the perfect date night show. If you haven't seen it, get a ticket - take a friend and as they say - "Go see what all the noise is about!"

On behalf of the Daily Herald, and Broadway in Chicago, I'm Diana Martinez and I look forward to seeing you at the theater! Thanks for watching!

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