Friday night's production of "STOMP" at the Alberta Bair Theater evoked a lot of "what if" moments.
What if I stuck a toilet plunger to my stomach? Would it sound like "STOMP"? In a rowdy carnival of rhythm and sound, eight innovative percussionists performed a symphony of clattering Friday night. And an audience of 900 people happily took it all in — from clanging trash can lids to feet swishing across a sandy floor. These talented performers could turn anything into music, which they aptly demonstrated.
The show was delayed one hour because of transportation problems with the set. And while it looked as if most of the set could be culled from a couple of back alleys, the art was in the details. In one segment, six of the eight performers dangled from cables in front of a two-story wall covered with every kind of object, from hub caps to crutches. Using drum sticks, they merrily banged away, creating the craziest of melodies.
The two-hour show showcased the sounds we've spent most of our lives avoiding — tapping feet, nervous shuffling and lots of glorious banging. But somehow it made for the most entertaining of shows. The simplicity of the segments, which blend seamlessly together, is what gives this performance so much punch. One interesting sequence had the performers all flicking metal lighters. In another, dueling percussionists danced a ballet with trash cans, sliding across the floor on the lids.
After the first standing ovation, the six-man, two-woman team reappeared onstage, soaked with sweat but smiling, and led the audience in the creation of their own music of clicking fingers, stomping feet and clapping hands. And another what if moment was born. What if we were that in sync every day?