By Michael P Coleman

STOMP has been called an “international percussion sensation,” and I have to give it up to writer who came up with that.  For perhaps the first time in my career, I was at a complete loss for words as I walked out of Sacramento’s Community Center Theater and into a driving rainstorm last night.

My silence was, in hindsight, fitting, as I hadn’t heard a single spoken word in the two hours since the lights dimmed.  STOMP’s power lies not in beautifully sung, masterfully written compositions.  Instead, its rhythm is derived by the ordinary items we see and use every day. 

I wish I could tell you that STOMP’s eight member cast used everything but the kitchen sink to drive the “music,” but that would be inaccurate: four of them rocked the house with four kitchen sinks. 

During other sets they used buckets. Inner tubes. Match boxes. Trash cans. Plastic tubing.  Push brooms. Mops. Oil drums. Their own hands and feet, and even each other’s bodies.  It was a raucous symphony derived from the mundane, stunning us alternatively between rapt silence and rousing applause. 

As a handful of cast members marched onstage pushing four run-of-the-mill grocery carts, I figured out the show’s appeal.  STOMP has tapped into the kid in all of us, the kid who got yelled at for jumping onto a rolling grocery cart at the corner grocery store, or beating on a wall or the floor or the bed post or his brother’s head (I am revealing too much here?).  As children, we were powerless to ignore the available object’s inherent utility for something beyond its original intended purpose.

What’s that?  You weren’t that kid?  Yes, you were — you just don’t remember.  I encourage you to see STOMP — to hear it and feel it — and get reacquainted with that kid.  He or she has been waiting for you. 

During my soggy stroll back to my car, I heard the rhythm of the rain hitting the pavement, and I paused to — stomp! —into a large puddle just off of the curb.  I didn’t think or care about whether I got my jeans or my brand new shoes wet, or even if a few errant drops of water hit another pedestrian.  I just stomped.  And smiled.

I also hoped to see STOMP again before it closes in Sacramento on February 10.  This show rocks! 

Tickets for STOMP start at $26 and are available at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H Street, Sacramento, or by calling (916) 557-1999; at the Community Center Theater Box Office, 1301 L Street, Sacramento; by calling (916) 808-5181; or online at BroadwaySacramento.com.  Groups of 12 or more can reserve tickets by calling (916) 557-1198. 

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Connect with freelancer writer Michael P Coleman at michaelpcoleman.com or follow him on Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP.