Do you feel nostalgic? Do you feel like dancing? Or do you need an introduction to the world of boogie woogie? Whatever the case, Boogie Stomp! is the show to catch.
From the moment you enter Elektra Theater, you are welcomed to an intimate and, at the same time, creatively charged space. The drapes and seats are deep red, and the two pianos are set partially facing each other and partially you, the audience. It feels as if you have come in while the musicians were taking a break from their rehearsal. When they enter the stage, they immediately let their energetic and rhythmical sound grab you, and you respond by tapping your feet almost without realizing it.
“. . . a music that comes from a shared oral and erotic tradition . . .”
Bob Baldori and Arthur Migliazza took us upon a wonderful journey which included 100 years of American piano music; they improvised, played solo, duets, and two pianos, and shared stories.
A particularly interesting tale was about the “rent parties” that took place in the black households of the 1920s. Musicians were hosting gatherings where neighbors and friends were invited to listen to music and drink. The attendees were throwing money on the floor and the hosts were able to make their monthly rent that way. The audience was so impressed by this story that dollar bills from several directions started flying on stage!
Their performances were enhanced by projections of historical footage, but, most importantly, by their genuine love for this music. Their sincere intention to communicate this made the audience participate, sing and clap along. Both performers are excellent musicians, and it is particularly interesting that they represent two different generations, being thus the embodiment of the show’s goal — connecting the past to the present and give it a future.
Advisory: Adult themes may make this show inappropriate for some audiences.
Running time: 2 hours with an intermission of 10 minutes.
Boogie Stomp is now playing through November 28, 2015 at the Elektra Theater at Times Square Arts Center, 300 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036. For more information and tickets, click here.