‘Stomp’ Celebrates a Milestone Anniversary Off-Broadway
Bucket drummers and buskers, rejoice. The era of found-object percussion is still going strong at the Orpheum Theatre in New York City’s East Village, where “Stomp” celebrated 10,000 performances in the fall.
“I think it taps into the simple things: rhythm, humor, movement,” says Luke Cresswell, who co-created the show with Steve McNicholas in London in 1991. “There’s no dialogue. There’s no pretense. It’s not trying to be something that it isn’t.”
Stomp pioneered a new genre of theatrical music that ushered in other shows like “Blue Man Group” and “Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk.” The international sensation has had productions in more than 15 countries — from Singapore to Bahrain to Kuala Lumpur — and has spurred an IMAX film, an HBO movie, and earned awards, including nominations for an Oscar and four Emmys. With no language barrier and no inherent melody, anyone from anywhere can find something to enjoy in the show.
“It’s about connection between people,” Cresswell says. “Originally, it was eight British people doing a show, and now the cast is from all over the world. With that comes international flavors, which they’ve built into the show. It’s become far more worldly.”
Cresswell touts the rotation of cast members as one of the things that has kept the show vibrant over the years, but some performers stick around for years because the energy and the community is infectious.
“I go look at other shows that I may want to join, but there’s something about the other shows that don’t do it for me like ‘Stomp’ does,” says Carlos Thomas, who has been in the cast for 18 years. “I can’t help it. I love it. I’ll be here until they lock the theater doors.”