Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A milestone for 'Stomp'

[Photo of the new marquee from last week]

Today, "Stomp" celebrates 10,000 performances at the Orpheum Theatre on Second Avenue between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

"Stomp" — created in 1991 by Steve McNicholas and Luke Cresswell in England — began its run at the Orpheum in February 1994.

People magazine noted the number of props the cast of the dance/percussion show has used at the Orpheum:

• 19,000 wood-handled brooms (glued, coated with marine epoxy, and covered with nylon strapping tape).
• 5,900 metal trash bins (three varieties of bins are used in the show — two imported from the UK, the third manufactured in the U.S.).
• 2,100 sheets of Masonite
• 600 wooden poles

For awhile, it looked as if "Stomp" wouldn't be holding any milestones here. In April 2015, the owners of the Orpheum were suing the producers of "Stomp" to prevent them from leaving the theater. However, a Manhattan judge ruled that the production was allowed to discontinue its contract and move on to a new theater in Midtown.

But! An arbitrator later ruled that the show must stay put after it tried to relocate to a competing playhouse uptown.

Here's some history of the Orpheum Theatre via Cinema Treasures:

The site on which the Orpheum stands is alleged to have been a concert garden as early as the 1880s and, as such, to be one of the oldest continuously operating places of gathering for entertainment events in New York City.

A 1904 NY Times article describes a visit to the Orpheum as an evening which began with entertainment from a Hungarian orchestra, continued with dinner in the 7 o'clock hour, and concluded with a three-hour stage show by a Viennese theatre company.

The theatre was part of the exploding Second Avenue Yiddish theatre scene in the early decades of the 20th century but was exhibiting motion pictures by at least 1921. By 1926 it was operated by the Meyer & Schneider circuit. Additional references indicate that it continued to do so through the mid-1950s.


Anonymous said...

It's a great tourist attraction, but I am not a fan. The players are rhythmic and talented, but personally I would rather just listen to proper drums and instruments any day of the week.

Anonymous said...

And I celebrated a personal milestone of never attending any of the 10,000 performances - a perfect record!

Anonymous said...

This makes me wonder if the rapture happened, and we're all experiencing individual forms or purgatory.

marjorie said...

I saw the original Little Shop of Horrors here as a tourist kid in the mid-80s. At the end of the last song, when evil plants have taken over the world, vines suddenly dropped down into each patron's lap from the ceiling and I screamed like a fucking banshee. I also saw John Leguizamo's Mambo Mouth here in the early '90s...and now I've taken my own kids to Stomp. (Honestly, it's not bad.)