3 1/2 stars
"Stomp": Broadway in Indianapolis series
Through Feb. 12 Percussion reigns with this delightful ensemble of individualized characters having a great time, proving music and movement are organic to the stuff of life. No matter if you’re experiencing this troupe for the first time or third, they delight with their Harpo-like mime, outlandish garb and virtuosity. Whether working the audience with follow-the-leader hand-clapping, mining broad comedy, slipping in satire or stealing the show, each of the performers builds a fully articulated persona. By the end of the un-interrupted two hours, we’re among friends who inspire us to go home and view the broom, newspaper, soda cup and straw, kitchen sink and our hands with new-found respect as objects of making music. Yet it’s the choreography that dazzles. Like "Tap Dogs," the footgear belies the suave tap and soft shoe moves undergirded with ballet and modern dance. The tempos are multinational. Universality comes with the seemingly in-born desire to coax a bit of rhythm out of just about anything, be it a small box with stuff (those tiny after dinner mints?) or a tall stick. Get a group together and slowly pitch and timing convert random acts of noise into a composition. Add movement to the seeming improvisation and suddenly you’ve got a show with performers who are their own stage crew. "Stomp’"s combination of visual comedy, percussion and movement has been ’round the world and has won just about every award.