Stomp
Reviewed by David Kashimba

If youíre looking for the most entertaining and unique show in town, Stomp fits the bill with an up beat that will change your vision of the ordinary. This mime musical dance production, with a flicker of martial arts, shows that you can make music out of anything if you have a beat in your heart and rhythm in your soul.

This energetic group of performers finds an array of musical instruments in tools we use in the daily maintenance of our lives. From brooms to trash can lids, their music has a percussion base that will have you stomping your feet to their unique beat. But much of their performance has the softer touch of metal cigarette lighters, paper and plastic bags, newspapers and matchboxes.

Indeed, though the heavier beat of trash cans, oil drums and automobile parts is spectacular and gets your heart pumping and feet stomping, itís the companyís softer touches that are the most awe inspiring. When a group gathers on stage to read their daily newspapers, the unfolding or rustling of one personís newspaper attracts the attention of others, and before you know it, the musicians are jamming, one rustling his paper, another tearing pieces of hers while another beats his rolled up paper on the stage. Before you know it an entire newspaper orchestra is born. Another interesting jam session takes place when three members of the cast start looking through a plastic garbage bag in search of musical instruments. One finds a paper lunch bag, another a paper cup with a plastic lid and straw, another a small plastic bag and a trio launches into some very unique sounds. Other softer touches include a piece composed for metal cigarette lighters and one for matchboxes.

And just when you think the company has used everything but the kitchen sink, three performers enter the stage with kitchen sinks full of water and dishes hanging from their necks and the audience is in for a hilarious, sloshy percussion performance. Humor, in addition to great music, is one of the key elements that make this a successful performance. Another key element is the performersí ability to ad-lib with the audience and to turn them into performers as well.

For tickets at the Marines Memorial Theatre in San Francisco or touring information call toll-free (877) 771-6900. For online information: www.tickets.com.

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