by Naomi Rubin. @naomithefool.
NEW YORK, NY - Susan Jenkins, a 60-year-old still life painter living in the basement apartment underneath Stomp’s Orpheum Theater's stage, filed a noise complaint lawsuit last year which led to the show’s sudden closure on Broadway.
“The noise was just unbearable… it’s like they were making noise just for the sake of making noise,” Jenkins said, showing us the military-grade earplugs she had purchased in bulk. “I would wear these all day, even though their racket always started at the same time: 7pm on weeknights, and then 2pm and 8pm on Sundays. It was the oddest thing.”
We spoke with producer Don Levine, who was on the brink of tears as he sorted through stiff-bristle brooms, trash can lids, and buckets headed for storage.
“Susan didn’t understand we are a percussion-based performance experience,” lamented Levine, who was wearing a “Stomp Strong” shirt. “I remember when it all started, it was a couple weeks after we opened Off-Broadway. She came upstairs when we were in rehearsal and asked if she could borrow a cup of sugar, and also said that she would appreciate it if we could ‘keep it down’.”
Three months into the show’s run, director Steve Crovvell said they received an official noise complaint notification from the city in the mail.
“We thought it was a joke,” Crovvell said, before showing us his cracked iPhone. “I tweeted it and said ‘lol,’ see? I said ‘lol.'”
But when the noise persisted, Jenkins got angrier, filing a lawsuit and eventually taking a case to the New York City Civil Court. Now she’s bringing Stomp v. Jenkins to the Supreme Court in June.
Until then, Stomp producers are hoping for the best, with Crovvell weighing in on the monumental court case.
“All we can do now is pray that Clarence Thomas is a fan of the thee-ay-ter."