“What is Stomp? Why should I see it?”
When Stomp cast member Cammie Griffin answered that question to a group on the street, she made a rhythm with her hands and asked the people on the street to do the same. Then, she goes on to explain that in the show, the cast “plays with brooms and trash can lids” to make rhythms. She continues by telling the group, “There’s comedy, but it’s not like typical musical theater; it’s more of journey through music.”
Born as a small theatrical experience in the UK, Stomp has become a phenomenon around the world. The unique exploration of music, using audience participation, comedy and dance, has toured the world and shows no signs of slowing down.
While it doesn’t have a traditional plot or dialogue, there is a beginning, middle and end that helps the audience connect with the show as it demonstrates that music can be made with objects we interact with on a daily basis.
“Stomp is an exploration of non-conventional instruments to make music. It is something you can explore yourself and think about music in your daily life,” Griffin explains. “It is not something you have seen before – definitely an experience and a different way to look at things we normally wouldn’t look at as instruments.”
For Griffin being cast in Stomp couldn’t be a more natural fit. With a background in dance, she joined the Las Vegas show, and when that production closed, she joined the touring cast.
One aspect of the performance that she enjoys is that it allows her to be spontaneous. “About 70% of the show is choreographed; the rest is improvised,” she states. Everything in the show is live, and the shows are never identical. Depending on the crowd and circumstances, she will portray her character with various emotions. The show provides a perfect fit, especially the number “Hands and Feet.”
In this section of the show, the performers make music with their feet and hands, no other instruments. “It is a little taste of me,” she says. Another favorite of hers to perform is a part called “Suspension.” “We are hanging from wires and play. It’s my favorite part; we get to swing and jump,” she comments.
If these numbers don’t sound familiar to you, it is because the format is constantly evolving to keep it fresh. For those that may have seen the show last time it was in Atlanta (or even in Vegas), expect to see a different show.
Griffin explains that every two years the creators of the show write new music that will take the place of one or two numbers. “There are new pieces that have just recently been placed in the show,” she states. One new number involves “shopping carts from the grocery” and another called “Frogs” hoses that have an accordion-like structure, and they “make a frog sound.”
For the cast of Stomp, music is everywhere, even in the opening and closing of a car door. If you are interested in seeing how juggling paint cans can be musical, then this is a show you need to watch. Griffin implores you to “come see what your everyday rhythm is and leave the show with a new vision.”
Stomp plays at the Fox Theatre September 26, 2013 through September 29, 2013. For more information, please visit the theater’s website. Tickets are available at the box office, online or by 855-ATL-TIXX.
By: Kenny Norton