Prepare for a stomping


POSTED: Friday, December 18, 2009

Coming soon to a junkyard near you ... the cast of “;Stomp”;?

Cast member Andres Fernandez isn't making any promises, but it could happen. The cast travels with containers full of push brooms and other items that must be identical in all productions, but when generic items get pounded past the point of usefulness, a trip to the nearest junkyard or hardware store will sometimes suffice.

“;We have a set that we call 'Suspension' where we're hanging on the fence, and all that stuff (on the fence) is all from junkyards. Sometimes we go to junkyards in cities if we need more junk to put on stage,”; Fernandez explained during a phone interview last Friday.

“;Stomp”; returns to Hawaii for a brief run starting Tuesday, and Fernandez is one of three cast members with Hawaii ties who's looking forward to spending the holidays here.

“;Christmas and New Year's—you get to pop firecrackers! Yea! It's gonna be so much fun. Everybody's so excited!”; Fernandez said enthusiastically.





        Where: Hawaii Theatre, 1130 Bethel St.

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday; continues at 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 3 and 7 p.m. Sundays through Jan. 3 (No show Dec. 24.)


Cost: $32 to $52 (Tuesday opening night discount of $12.25 to $37, with various discounts available for performances starting Christmas Day through Jan. 3)


Info: 528-0506 or www.hawaiitheatre.com




The engagement is also a homecoming for “;Stomp”; veteran Ivan Delaforce, who will be performing before his hometown crowd for the third time, and for Guillaume Carreira, who joined the cast of “;Stomp Out Loud”; in Las Vegas last year and is on his first tour as a “;Stomp”; cast member. (Local night-life veterans will remember Carreira's parents as stars of the Waikiki disco dance scene in the late 1970s.)

This is Fernandez's third time here as well.

“;Ivan and I were there in back in '97, and he was there with another Hawaii guy—who went to Kamehameha—the year before. When I came in '04, the last time (the show was here), I was the only guy from Hawaii.”;

While Fernandez and Carreira will be performing on opening night, Delaforce will be in reserve. That's because each tightly choreographed performance involves an element of physical danger. If someone is injured, Fernandez says matter-of-factly, there won't be time to fly in a replacement from the mainland.

HIS OWN involvement with “;Stomp”; began when his older brother Johnny was in the national tour of “;Miss Saigon”; and encouraged him to fly up to Los Angeles for auditions. He auditioned for “;Stomp”; and got the job. (Andres mentions his brother, along with Michael Jackson, James Brown, New Kids on the Block and Philippine star Gary Valenciano as some of the people who inspired him to pursue a career in entertainment.)

In addition to touring with “;Stomp,”; Fernandez has also performed as a member with the aforementioned “;Stomp Out Loud,”; and more recently with the European touring company of “;Stomp”; in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

“;The show is pretty much the same in New York, in London, in the European tour and here. We tour Mexico and South America sometimes, and all over North America,”; he said.

Fans of the show who've enjoyed it here in the past are being promised several new segments: One uses paint cans and another, tractor tire inner tubes. A popular sequence that once involved trash cans has restaged to include “;strip-lighting recycling containers.”;

Whatever those containers may be, the cast will show Hawaii how to make music-slash-noise with them.

And that is what “;Stomp”; is all about: the premise that music—that is, some form of organized rhythmic sound—can be made with objects ranging from pencils, cigarette lighters, soft-drink straws, toilet plungers, push brooms and plastic bags.

The show transcends language and also inspires kids—and adults as well—to look at everyday items from a new perspective.

Some of the segments are beyond kid-size—using 55-gallon oil drums as stilts, for example—but the magic of imagination is present in all of them.

Fernandez enjoys seeing how kids adopt and adapt to the show's concept.

“;When we visit schools to do workshops, a lot of the schools have their own little 'Stomp' that they've created. It's good to see that this show inspires a lot of kids to open their eyes and see that there's music in everything.”;