Guest writer Liat Ginsberg is a mother and former journalist for the Israeli newspaper, Maariv. She has taught at the Film and Media Department at Hunter College.
When your kids take pots and pans out of the kitchen cabinets and you think, “No, not again. I had enough of this horrible banging noise.” The show Stomp will give them even more legitimacy to drive you crazy and tell you, “Why can’t we do it? You are killing our creativity!” Also throw into the mix: Zippo lighters, push brooms, wooden poles, hammer handles, garbage cans, inner tubes and matchboxes.
Stomp, a combination of percussion movement and visual comedy, was created in Brighton, England, in the summer of 1991. It began its run at the Orpheum Theatre in New York in February 1994 and has won many awards. Since then, 15 million people have watched it in 53 countries.
The show starts with musicians sweeping the floor with brooms, creating rhythm and music. As a mom, I couldn’t help why don’t I use that technique to convince my own kids to help me clean the floors, especially in the summer, when they are out of camp?!
Later on in the show, the talented and energetic musicians continued using everyday stuff that we all use and take for granted – for example: box matches, sinks with water, buckets with and without water, sticks, pipes, supermarket carts, bottles and even garbage cans.
But don’t fool yourself – yes they use everyday materials, and it looks very easy. However, it’s not. The musicians had great coordination between them and were able to create wonderful music from nothing which means that we can teach our young kids, that they don’t need expensive percussions to be a good musician. Any child, no matter what measure of wealthy they come from, can both be creative and succeed in making music. They just have to want it and be creative.
The show reminded me of my visit to a very poor village in Nepal, when I witnessed children laughing loudly and playing with a very rusted tin can. They also didn’t need any toys to be happy. A rusty tin can was enough to play happily for a long time.
There were so many funny moments in the show. My kids loved Alan Asuncion making music when he pretended to pee water. It’s really a show for adults as well as for kids. Kids will enjoy the music, the humorous parts and the legitimacy to be wild and creative at the same time. And adults will be amazed by the level of creativity.
I loved Simeon Weedall, but he could not have done it alone, each one of the musicians (Marivald Dos Santos, Dustin Elsea, Eric Fay, Delaunce Jackson, Krystal Rene’e, Ivan Salazar, Cade Slattery, Reggie Talley, and Penelope Wendtlandt) added his/her talent temperament, humor and uniqueness. The coordination and the chemistry between them was obvious. They worked hard and the result was a unique and charming performance.
After the show, in the car, our kids literally banged on every part of the car in order to listen to different sounds. We participated, and encouraged them to pay attention to sounds around us. The show taught them — and us — that almost everything we touch has a different sound.
Please note that children must be 4 or older to attend. Stomp runs 90 minutes in length; there is no intermission. It’s playing at the The Orpheum Theatre on 126 Second Avenue at 8th Street (aka St. Marks Place) in New York Tuesday through Sunday. You can find ticket information here.
Disclosure: Liat received complimentary tickets to see the show with her family, however all opinions are her own.