Detailed observation vs. opinion

Plenty of both in this story. Find some:

Coming to the Palace Theatre from Friday, Jan. 14 through Sunday, Jan. 16, is a visual show unlike any other on this earth. STOMP has been called sexy, provocative and wild. The show only has one goal: to light up the stage with rhythmic sounds and dancing bodies.

The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, along with Broadway Across America, is presenting the show while the tour makes its way along the East Coast.

“STOMP wants to show the audience that music can be made anywhere with anything and it can be spectacular,” CAPA publicist, Rolanda Copley said, in an email.

The single, most unique identifier about the show is the cast’s use of anything but instruments to make different rhythms and beats. According to, in one week alone, the company has used 30 brooms, 8 bananas, 15 pounds of sand, 10 poles, 8 lids, and so much more.

“What we want the audience to get out of the show is to have fun,” STOMP performer, Elec Simon said. “It’s like a train that the audience can jump on with us.”

Simon is originally from Smithville, Ohio and currently resides in Canton with his wife and kids. He’s a percussionist and tapper and co-wrote “HeartBeat”, a traditional African rhythmic piece.

Simon also has his own dance company called HeartBeat Afrika, which does a number of performances, including drum circles at prisons.

STOMP originated in Brighton, England from the minds of its creators, Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, in 1991 and has expanded its reach to the US. In 2004, the show celebrated its 10th anniversary in New York, where 2nd Avenue was renamed Stomp Avenue, according to Its 5000th performance was in 2006.

The current tour started last September and the company even went to South America for a few performances. The troupe members change every few performances, so the audience always gets slightly different performers.

“STOMP has some choreography similar to a dance event, but the focus of the production is the percussion element,” Copley said.

The troupe often uses trashcans as drums, poles as drumsticks and trashcan lids as cymbals.

“Every show is different,” Simon said. “The creators are always changing the show to challenge us.”

He mentioned that in one upcoming performance, the cast would be throwing paint cans around the stage.

Simon had issues with flight delays and cancelations and was stuck in Huntington, W. Va. from Monday until Tuesday afternoon. The severe weather made it difficult for him and two other performers to get on their flights.

Despite the amount of awards and positive reviews, Simon remains humble.

“If it weren’t for God, we wouldn’t be here,” he said.

The show starts at 8 p.m. on Friday at the Palace Theatre. The next two cities on the tour are Williamsport, Pa. and East Lansing, Mich.


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