From Dec. 28 to Jan. 2, Merriam Theater on the Kimmel Cultural Campus will be alive with the sound of a strange kind of music.

That’s when an eight-member troupe will take over the stage using unconventional percussion instruments – matchbooks, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, hubcaps and more – in order to fill the theater with a unique musical style in a show called “Stomp.”

This unusual show, known for its inventive rhythmic styles, high intensity and energy, was conceived in Brighton, United Kingdom in 1991. That’s when Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas decided to create something a bit “different.” So different, in fact, that it’s safe to say that after seeing the show, audience members will never look at shopping carts or plumbing fixtures in quite the same way.

“It’s probably safe to say that after seeing the show, the audience goes home looks around the house, and figures if we could play these ‘instruments,’ so can they,” says Cary Lamb, Jr., one of the featured members who appears in the production.

Lamb says he first saw the show when he was eight-years-old. “I was completely amazed at what I was seeing on stage. I fell in love with the whole experience and wondered if I could do it too. So in 2017, I decided to audition for a part, and when I went to audition I remembered seeing some of the same faces I saw back on the stage for the very first time.”

A Long Island, New York native, Lamb attended Stonybrook University where he majored in theater arts, while also studying percussion movement and rhythms. He’s danced for the New York Mets, the Brooklyn Nets and at the Apollo Theater.

And although there’s no dialogue in “Stomp,” Lamb gets to play Particle Man, a warrior with stamina and a sharp sense of detail. “About 70 percent of the show is pre-determined, but about 30 percent gives us the freedom to improvise as we go along. I think that makes everybody happy – the performers and the audience as well,” he insists.

“My role is basically the swag of the show,” Lamb continues. “Everyone has their job, but I’m really there to fill in whenever there is a space. That gives me the freedom to do whatever I want with that space. For instance, if everyone moves to the left, I can move to the right and do a flip, a cartwheel or anything else I want to do.”

Stomp’s success is evident as marked by rave reviews, numerous awards and sell-out engagements. “Stomp” is the winner of an Olivier Award for Best Choreography (London’s Tony Award), a New York Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience, and a Special Citation from Best Plays.

In addition to the stage shows, “Stomp” has received an Academy Award nomination, four Emmy nominations, one Emmy Award for their acclaimed HBO special “Stomp Out Loud,” as well as many TV appearances and a series of award-winning international commercials.

For his future, Lamb admits he’d love to be on the screen someday. He says he loves being on stage but thinks about what opportunities might be open to him later in his career.

“But for now, I’m very content being a part of ‘Stomp.’ Working with the people in the show is amazing, especially when everyone is giving it their all. That’s what I love most abut this show. It’s everyone pulling their own weight while still helping each other. Every night we just go out ad give it our very best.”

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