The early '90s introduced the world to two revolutionary stage acts that brought audiences into wordless alternative universes driven by percussion on non-traditional devices. They both started as tiny shows in the kind of settings that only devoted followers of unusual performance art would seek out, and both became mainstream cultural phenomena with multiple casts touring major theaters around the world. And after two decades they're both still popular with audiences.
We're talking about Blue Man Group and Stomp. You can hardy avoid seeing Blue Man these days, and you can see Stomp starting April 30. They'll perform five shows at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa.
Stomp features eight troupe members -- they rotate so you won't see the same cast twice -- who combine dance and drumming. But the "drums" are everyday items as such as shopping carts, matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and hubcaps.
The show's energetic, exciting, astounding, inventive, light-hearted, humorous and just about impossible to dislike.
The current incarnation reportedly features several new vignettes, so this isn't your father's Stomp.
Details: April 30-May 3, Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Show times: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $43-$63 plus service charge. Information: 813-229-7827, www.strazcenter.org.
-- Marty Clear