The rhythm and beat of ping, clunk, crunch, bam, and “STOMP” fills the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place from start to finish as the cast makes music out of just about everything, including the kitchen sink!
A unique and exhilarating experience, the internationally acclaimed “STOMP” has been captivating audiences for decades with its innovative blend of music, dance, comedy, and theatricality.
Touring the U.S. since 1994, the show that debuted in New York City back in 1991 is now playing in Chicago through New Year’s Eve.
The talented performers use everyday objects such as brooms, trash cans, buckets, and even their own bodies to create an astonishing symphony of sound and movement. The result is a high-energy performance that leaves audiences breathless and in awe.
Illinois Latino News had the opportunity to sit down with cast member Jude Caminos.
“This show is about discovering sound,” said Caminos, describing “STOMP.” “Discovering music in a way that anyone can grab and reach.” Caminos was about to perform in his twenty-second show on the night IL Latino News met up with him. He originally auditioned for “STOMP” in 2021 and did it again earlier this year. Caminos got the GREAT news about being cast on the show in late August, and after four weeks of training, he’s been on the road touring with fellow performers.
Not your typical musical or play; there are no spoken words, no elaborate costumes, and no complicated sets. Instead, “STOMP” relies solely on the power of rhythm and movement to tell its story.
The show’s creators, Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas were inspired by the music and rhythms they encountered in everyday life. They wanted to take these ordinary sounds and transform them into something extraordinary. Through their innovative choreography and infectious enthusiasm, Cresswell and McNicholas turned the most mundane objects into musical instruments and the stage into a playground for rhythm and creativity.
“Coming from a very classical background, to transfer something I have been playing with an orchestra -OK, (now) I have a trash can, a tire, and some other piece of trash that I have to learn how to make music out of. (It ) has been a very cool process to learn how to take those skills I have learned over the years and transfer that over,” shared Caminos about the experience of making music without traditional instruments.
Caminos is a music director and musician based in Brooklyn, New York. He moved to NYC in 2021, shortly after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, where he majored in percussion performance and music education with a minor in Drama.
A freelance artist, preschool teacher, and children’s music performer, Caminos has music-directed and performed in various cabarets, including “Lizzie: The Musical.”
One of the most impressive aspects of “STOMP” is its ability to transcend language barriers. With no spoken words, the show is accessible to audiences from all over the world. No matter where you come from, you can appreciate the universal language of rhythm and the joy that comes from creating music with everyday objects.
Despite the success of shows with diverse casts, Latinos still need to be more represented on Broadway shows. Of the roughly 51,000 active Actors’ Equity Association members (in 2021), the union for theater performers, 3.1 percent were Latino.
For Caminos, whose parents are Cuban and Argentine, being one of a few Latino performers in “The Great White Way” is a truth he is aware of. “I never saw anyone that looked like me on stage,” he said. “When we were in Newark (New Jersey), I had a kid come up and ask for my picture. He was Latino; he looked just like me. It was a very cool moment.”
“STOMP” runs one hour 45 minutes without an intermission. Visit www.broadwayinchicago.com/shows/stomp for more information, including how to get tickets while the show is in Chicago.
The next stop for Caminos and the production of “STOMP” in their North American tour is Wausau, Wisconsin.
Still Photos and video by Esteban Balta, Senior at George Westinghouse College Prep. Esteban is an aspiring Photo Journalist.