Monday, June 24, 2013

[Review] Stomp

Yesterday, my mum, dad and I went to see the show Stomp in Marina Bay Sands Theater. I got us VIP tickets as if I know it right, it will be my dad's first time to go see a show like it (as far as i know and remember). My mum has experience watching such shows as I remember when I was younger she watched "The King and I" with me in a Trumpet production (I think) in Meralco theater. When I was working already,  we went to see a Cirque like show in Resorts World Manila. Also, I remember getting us (mum, sister and I) front row tickets to watch the Repertory Philippine's take on "Sweeney Todd." So...I've said too much. The point being was that it was my dad's first time, and my mum's (almost seemingly first time) first time as well. So I told myself to just get the most expensive ticket as I don't get to pamper the both of them as often.

Stomp was amazing! As I was watching it, I tried to match it up with other "stage productions" that I have seen - and I came to the conclusion that it's definitely one of the top 5. In no particular order, I would say that the other productions would be: Wicked, Lion King, Mamma Mia, Sweeney Todd (and Stomp). I won't go into the details to compare all the 5 in detail. But just to share the other productions I have seen to give you an idea that not all would be in the same category if classified:

2. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe - this was when I was still in gradeschool/highschool (I dont quite remember) by Trumpets Inc at Meralco Theater
3. Joseph the Dreamer - I think I had to write a paper about this for school as it was required (also by Trumpets Inc at Meralco Theater)
4. The King and I - My sister's ex-boyfriend used to work for Meralco so he got free tickets for us
5. Avenue Q
6. Dirty Dancing
7. Viva Forever - Yes, CP and I watched this West End show in London with my insistence. The other option was the Bodyguard and I am not really aware of Whitney's songs except the really popular ones - whose titles I can't even remember at the moment.
8. Cirque-ish shows - I remember ID in Marina Bay Sands, but I don't quite remember the one I saw before in RW Manila

Of note, what I loved about Stomp (I'm not a theater expert or what) - was the lack of "active" musical direction - to which I mean, there's no conductor or what. Researching it online, references say they are a percussion group - so a band then in a way. But, I appreciate the fact that for the whole show and production to meld and make itself concrete, there would have been numerous rehearsals to get all the timing right.

The wide array of instruments (non traditional - as in to say a trash can, a matchbox, lighters (to light fags: the british term for cigarettes :-)), broomsticks, etc etc) they used to create the music they created is beyond awe. There is no story, no singing, no words, no drama, just the music they were making with different sort of pseudo-percussions they had and bits of comedy to stimulate the audience (with very young kids when we went).

Stomp was uncomplicated to experience. I think that's why my mum and dad enjoyed it as well. It was simple, easy to watch and understand. I meant uncomplicated as in to compare it to Wicked (admittedly still the best production I've ever seen) where there is no story to comprehend, no characters to dissect, no vocal  spectacle, no high notes anticipating to be reached, nothing. 

I'm really glad we got to watch the last performance they had scheduled in Singapore. I would say that it was worth every penny!