Mustang Daily Staff Report
Boom. Crash. Bank. Swish. These sounds — normally most associated with a loud construction site — will be crashing through the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center (PAC) tonight as the smash hit “Stomp” returns to Cal Poly once again.
The musical production returned to Cal Poly last night with a nearly sold out show at 7:30 p.m., and will have a follow-up performance tonight at the same time. Since it first came to Cal Poly nearly a decade ago, outside presenters have brought the show to San Luis Obispo nearly every year, Cal Poly Arts public relations representative Lisa Woske wrote in an email to Mustang Daily.
“Stomp’”s road to Cal Poly hasn’t been a quick one though. The show originally began as the brainchild of Steve McNicholas and Luke Cresswell in the early ’80s, and after nearly ten years of work, premiered in Brighton, U.K. in 1991, according to the “Stomp” website.
The show — which is based off of street dancing and culture in the late ’80s — features a non-stop musical experience in which performers create beats using only their bodies and everyday objects such as brooms, pipes, bags and trash cans. Cast members, according to the show’s website, traditionally wear grungy garb — overalls, plaids, workbooks and baseball caps — in a tribute to the styles of the decades the show was created and first performed in.
Since then, the show has been seen in theaters around the world, from Hong Kong to Barcelona. Most recently, a specialized cast performed a unique musical tribute to Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London. In the tribute, several cast members hung suspended from a giant Ferris wheel (a replica of the famous “London Eye”) striking metal tubs to recreate the sounds of London traffic.
This year’s presentation of the show, however, will feature some of the largest changes to the performance since its conception, according to a Cal Poly Arts press release. According to the release, co-creators McNicholas and Cresswell decided to rework the play following its recent reincarnation in Las Vegas, “Stomp Out Loud.” In addition to the iconic numbers featuring trash cans, brooms and every other manner of everyday objects, the Cal Poly audience will be among the first to see new numbers with paint cans and tractor tire inner tubes.
For Cal Poly theatre arts senior Cadence Mitchell, “Stomp,” and its iconic broom and trash can scene, has been one of her favorite shows since high school.
“My junior year in high school, my music appreciation teacher made us watch a video of ‘Stomp,’ and I fell in love,” Mitchell said. “They do a dance with push brooms, and I really love it because they take the brooms apart and have this stick fight thing. Then suddenly, bam. They have brooms again, but now there are trash cans. It’s really just epic.”
Though Mitchell will not be able to attend the show due to scheduling conflicts — “I really wanted to, and my mom had tickets too,” she said — she still encourages as many Cal Poly students who can attend to try to see the show.
“The fact that they make up entire songs out of normal, everyday objects is a fascinating way of portraying art and theater and musicianship,” she said.
The PAC will hold a second showing of “Stomp” tonight at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $26 to $60 a piece.
Kaytlyn Leslie contributed to this article.