The real hook for Stomp isn't percussion--as hot a ticket as that might be these days, and as well as the eight Stompites do it. The real hook is the tension between everyday noisemaking and genuine virtuosity. We all make noise, whether it's tapping away at our keyboards, banging around in the kitchen, or hitting our teeth with a pen. But we don't all make music the way the Stompites do, swishing brooms, rattling newspapers, or twanging metal tape measures. Still, there's the suggestion that we could if we wanted to, an impression reinforced by the performers' ordinary looks: they're typical twentysomethings in old jeans, T-shirts, and tank tops. And boots, of course. That tension is what makes the show's audience-interactive sections its most engaging: hey, we're being asked to clap out a simple rhythm, and we can do it. Of course we can't keep up when the going gets tougher. And then our fearless leader/provocateur sneers at our impoverished efforts, because Stomp's other big hook is A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E. That's OK, we can take the abuse. Shubert Theatre, 22 W. Monroe, 312-902-1500. Through October 18: Tuesdays-Thursdays, 7:30 PM; Fridays, 8 PM; Saturdays, 5 and 9 PM; Sundays, 1:30 and 6 PM. $20-$42. --Laura Molzahn
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): still by Lois Greenfield.