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'Stomp' performance in Tampa will leave you up-beat

Compiled by Times staff

The exuberant precision percussion show Stomp returns to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center for a weekend engagement. Now part of our pop culture fabric, this version of the tour is promising some surprises, with some sections of the show updated and restructured and two new full-scale routines added that use props such as tractor tire inner tubes and paint cans. For the uninitiated or for those who want to know more before they go to the show, we offer up this history and peek inside the production of the upbeat bang-a-thon.

From the street to the stage

Stomp was created in Brighton, UK, in the summer of 1991, the result of a 10-year collaboration between its creators, Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas. They had first worked earlier as members of a street band Pookiesnackenburger and the theater group Cliff Hanger. Together, these groups presented a series of street comedy musicals at the Edinburgh festival throughout the early '80s. After huge success, Pookiesnackenburger also produced the highly acclaimed "Bins" commercial for Heineken. The piece was originally written and choreographed by Cresswell as part of the band's stage show: It proved to be the starting point for Stomp's climactic dustbin dance.

The phenomenon grows

In 1991, Stomp premiered at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. Between 1991 and 1994, the original cast of Stomp played to capacity audiences around the world: from Hong Kong to Barcelona, from Dublin to Sydney. The touring culminated in a sellout season at London's Sadler's Wells theater in January '94. Stomp began its run at the Orpheum Theatre in New York in February '94 and quickly went on to win both an Obie and a Drama Desk award for "Most Unique Theatre Experience."

We're with the tour

In the summer of '95, two more American productions were created for the sole purpose of touring. Meanwhile, a fifth Stomp company, also touring from the UK, was formed in 1997 and has consistently toured the world ever since.

Earning their props

Stomp's New York City production celebrated its 15th year at the Orpheum Theatre in February, which makes it one of the longest-running shows in off-Broadway history. And it is the most financially successful off-Broadway show in history.

Give 'em stuff to hit

This is just a partial list of the items used in this production of Stomp.

30 brooms • 288 liters of water • 2 gallons of floor paint • 10 wooden poles • 40 newspapers • 20 pounds of sand • 10 garbage can lids • 4 hammer handles • 1 block of chalk • 5 rolls of gaff tape • 2 Ace bandages • 12 boxes of matches • 1 pedal bin • 10 booties • 1 tape measure • 7 garbage cans • 20 drum sticks • 4 boxes of tissues • 3 ballpoint pens

. If you go

Stomp is at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m. Friday, 5 and 9 p.m. Saturday and 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $34.50. On Friday, the venue has Broadway Family Night, offering a free children's ticket (12 and under) with a full-priced adult ticket (available in all price levels by phone or at window). The center offers visually impaired patrons the option of listening to an audio description of the show done by a trained volunteer who describes the action onstage.

'Stomp' performance in Tampa will leave you up-beat 06/17/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 4:30am]
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