The only word uttered by STOMP performer Ivan Salazar
How crazy is it to make a living by being completely and downright noisy as hell and make it look good? Only the performers of STOMP can do that, and they do it so damn well. The eight-member troupe consists of six talented men, (Andrew Brought, Jonathon Elkins, Cary Lamb, Jr., Artis Olds, Jeremy Price and Cade Slattery) and two incredibly talented women (Alexis Juliano and Krystal Renée). It is impossible to contain their fiery energy and infectious grand moves. Their creativity is something to be amazed as they can make anything – from the sound of matchsticks to walking in nearly 10-foot poles – sound immaculately exceptional. There’s little to no human sound. Whatever they can get their hands on, these talented people can create a sweet melodic sound to a rock-hard concerto with bite.
Clearly, the leader of this band of sharp performers, who dress like homeless, disheveled street urchins, is the member with a lot of swag Ivan Salazar. Where he moves, they move. What he does, they do. Salazar even gets audience participation using facial expressions declaring when the audience is on point or way off course. He moves fluidly from one step to another without missing a beat. It’s easy to see that he works hard by looking at his heavily drenched grey tank shirt. You can’t keep your eyes off his graceful move with a swagger edge. Salazar isn’t the only performer bearing confidence and shine. Elkins comes along and slays. In a scene where the group gathers together and uses newspaper as their sound of choice, Elkins uses his creativity to stand out, and does he ever. He pretends to be a baby coming out of the womb by placing his head in the middle of the of the paper and claws his way out. In another burst of energy, he folds the paper like an accordion and he instantly become a proud looking peacock. His fun energy has him sliding across the stage with an aluminum trashcan lid. He’s having a ball.
When the group comes together, they are unstoppable. They are on point, work extremely well together and are obviously having fun doing it. There’s a segment where they start of with two basketballs, then four then eight and they keep about 10 ten balls in the air. They even swing in the air while drumming on anything close to them. Their ending is superior to anything possibly concocted. They get louder, more playful and excited. Their infectious rhymes and rhythms makes you get up and hit something wildly and with passion. That’s what STOMP does. It brings you into their noisy world and you don’t want to leave. And why would you want to?
STOMP runs until Sunday, April 29, at 6:30 p.m. The show plays Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. For ticket information, call the Pantages Theatre at 323-468-1770 or Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787.