STOMP is the product of the long-time collaboration between two men, Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas. Though the show group was developed in Brighton, England (1991), its history begins ten years earlier when the two first worked together.
Prior to STOMP, Luke and Steve met in 1981 when they were members of the street band Pookiesnackenburger and the theatre group known as Cliff Hanger. These two organizations produced musical comedies for the Edinburgh Festival. After experiencing success at the Festival throughout the 1980s, Pookiesnackenburger developed a commercial for Heinken, which would become the model of the notorious dustbin dance audiences recognize from the show.
In 1986, Luke and Steve produced a short, percussive-based movie for Bette Midler’s HBO special program “Mondo Beyondo” – it was a success! For the rest of the 1980s and early 1990, the duo staged several large-scale, outdoor events that demonstrated their talent for putting together percussive orchestrations.
In 1991, Luke and Steve financed and directed the original STOMP production. The show began a series of previews at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London followed by a premiere in Edinburgh where it was met with great success. With a cast of eight performers, the production toured around the world from 1991-1994 to critical acclaim. The show ended its three-year tour in London where it received an Olivier nomination for Best Entertainment Award.
In 1994, STOMP began its long-running production at the Orpheum Theatre in New York where it won an Obie and Drama Desk Award for Most Unique Theatre Experience. With a new cast in place for the New York run, the original cast commenced a tour of North America which became so popular that in 1995, the group launched two more companies to tour the United States.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “I must have seen this group somewhere!” Well you probably have! STOMP has appeared in numerous commercials, including ads for Coca-Cola, Target and Toyota. The group became so world-renowned that in 1996 they performed at the Academy Awards. In 1997, Luke and Steve created and directed Stomp Out Loud – an HBO special that featured the group’s stage routines with new material made specifically for TV — which was nominated for four Emmys including Best Direction and Best Art Direction.
After 29 years on Broadway, STOMP lit a zippo lighter and swept up the dust for the final time. The long-running show closed on January 8, 2023 after 13 previews and 11,475 performances. Despite its finale in New York, the tour continues to this day, performing to sold out audiences around the world. Who knows how long the beat will go on?
Feb 21-26 • Buell Theatre
Audio-Described performance: Feb 26 at 2pm