I love the theater. I get a lot of pleasure out of taking my kids to the theater to experience the same kind of buzz that I get out it. So when I was offered tickets to off-Broadway’s Stomp, I jumped at the chance to take my kids to see a show I’d heard much about for years and wanted very much to see.
This is in spite of the fact that my 6-year-old son is very sensitive to noise. It’s not that I was ignoring this fact. It’s not that I’m not aware of the many occasions we’ve had to leave festivals, fairs, dances and parties due to loud noise. It’s just that I decided to take a chance. After our very successful recent viewing of “Freckleface Strawberry,” and his newly found love of the stage, I decided to give it a shot.
This is not to say that I wasn’t worried. I was. I thought about bringing ear plugs, just in case the noise started to bother him. My back-up plan was that if things started to go south during the production, I would just take him out of the theater. I would run to the back of the theater and tell my friends (sitting in the back) to quickly move up and take our seats next to my daughter and her friend so they wouldn’t be alone (both age 7).
When we were shown to our fourth row seats, I admit I was a bit concerned about being so close to the stage. How could we make a quick getaway? Wouldn’t it be REALLY loud so close to the stomping action?
So, the show began. A group of eight performers(6 men, 2 women) began stomping around the stage, banging brooms left and right. A wave of fear went through me; I looked at Max and found not only a big smile on his face, but hands clapping wildly joining the audience’s round of applause. He’s okay. I’m okay. The show continues.
He continued to happily clap after every performance. The performers were banging on trash cans, buckets, pipes, kitchen sinks, toilet plungers, poles, drums, rubber tubes and chairs. There were a few more quiet performances with zippo lighters and newspapers, but for the most part, each performance was stomp-worthy and loud. For the first 45 minutes, my son held on. He really seemed to be enjoying it. With the combination of facial expressions and body movements, the cast communicates scenes in the universal language of rhythm and sound. They were funny, too, interacting with the audience. When someone got up to use the bathroom, they gave them the evil eye. One member of the cast ran into the theater with a #1 sign, like he had just won the NYC Marathon, which happened to be taking place all over the city at that very moment. It was very funny. The performers are all very skilled and engaging. Most of all, they really seem to love what they’re doing.
And everything was just perfect for the longest time. I couldn’t ‘t believe it. I kept looking at him for signs of trouble. I was waiting for the bomb to drop.
And then it started. He started to cover his ears. Then he started to kick the chair in front of him. Then he started to kick me. Then he started to pull my hair. It was seventy-five minutes into the show, he started asking me when it would end. We had 30 more minutes. But somehow he made it through the show’s 105 minutes. He was intrigued by what the guys were going to do next, and the show was like nothing he’d ever seen before so it held his attention. At the show’s end when the cast started banging on trash cans, he turned to me and said, “I have to pee – NOW. And, Mom, it’s too loud! Let’s go!!!!’
That was my cue.
Funnily enough, it was just before the end of the show. My sensory-sensitive son had managed to make it nearly to the show’s finale. He and I leaped up from our seats and ran down the aisle to the back of the theater where I told my friend to run to the front to sit by the girls. I took him to the bathroom upstairs and then told him we needed to sit the final few minutes out in the lobby. We heard the trash cans banging on the stage below and my son said to me, “How can we hear that all the way up here? Can the people outside hear the banging?” It was a good question, and I told him that yes, they probably could.
Right now you can get discount tickets for the show. Click here for tickets. Use Discount code: MOMS. The promotion is valid Nov 2nd thru Dec 19, 2010. Tickets are good for performances Tues-Fri at 8, Sat & Sun at 3. You can get tickets for $39.00 (including facility fee, regularly $73.50). Limit six tickets per order. Subject to availability. Not valid on prior purchases.
After the show, the we left our friends to go meet my sister for my son’s pre-birthday meal at Veselka, at 144 2nd Avenue, an old favorite eatery of mine from my days of living in the city. Veselka serves coffee, eggs, pancakes, burgers, pies, and Ukrainian specialties like borscht—hot and meaty, or cold, with buttermilk, cucumbers, and hard-boiled eggs, matza ball soup, and stuffed cabbage. The kids opted for homemade macaroni & cheese and cauliflower. We were all starving and happy to be sitting down eating warm food. We finished off the evening singing “Happy Birthday” to him over a chocolate cupcake with a lit candle – but we sang softly.
Disclosure: The Stomp tickets were provided to me for this giveaway, but no particular opinions were expected. They are all my own. As for Veselka, I paid for our meal.