STOMP visited Lehigh and performed on November 30th, 2018, in Baker Hall. STOMP is a mix of dancing, percussion, lights, acting and comedy to make a unique audio-visual experience. (Shujin Gong/B&W Staff)

STOMP storms Zoellner with a sold-out performance

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STOMP, a theatre group founded by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas in 1991, fuses dance, percussion, lights, acting and comedy to create an extraordinary audio-visual experience.

The off-broadway musical group performed at Zoellner Arts Center on Friday, Nov. 30. The event attracted both students and community members, who entirely filled the Zoellner parking garage and nearly every metered spot around the arts center.

The performers make music from almost anything imaginable: basketballs, brooms, lighters, shopping carts and their own bodies. The interactive two-hour performance does not have an intermission — just 120 minutes of original beats and innovative instruments.

“I love the basketball part,” said Andrew Cassano, Zoellner’s administrative director. “The coordination they (must) have when they are throwing the balls from the second floor to the top floor, and they never missed a beat. It’s pretty amazing.”

The original show started with members from a street performance and theater group in Brighton, U.K. and was first performed in London in 1991 at the Bloomsbury Theatre.

In 1995, the group performed at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, breaking a box office record that was previously held by Frank Sinatra, according to Broadway Utica.

Multiple casts of STOMP exist, and combined, they travel worldwide.

This wasn’t STOMP’s first time lighting up the Zoellner stage. Cassano said they have had STOMP perform at Zoellner before, and it was great to have them back.

He was not alone in his glowing reviews of the show. Srimitha Srinivasan, ’21, and Piyasha Sarkar, ’21, attended the event and enjoyed what they saw.

“The show was really cool,” Sarkar said. “It was a really creative way to make sounds, and I liked how they did not use any words and it was just all through stuff you would find outside.”

Along with the sounds, Srinivasan liked the comedy factor that was incorporated into the show.

Sakar agreed and said while the performers told no jokes verbally, the show was funny.

“The expressions, the beats, the rhythms were amazing and I could not stop laughing,” Srinivasan said.

Sarkar had seen the show when she was younger and recognized the name, so she was interested from the beginning.

Both Sarkar and Srinivasan said that it was a great way to spend the night and would definitely recommend it to other students.

However, the show didn’t just attract a few Lehigh students, it garnered an audience of community members and families from nearby towns.

Tim McNeff of Telford, Pennsylvania, attended the event with his family. He enjoys the show so much that he came to see it at Lehigh for his third time and for his daughter’s first time.

“We loved it, it was magnificent,” McNeff said.

Stacie Miller and her family came from Schuylkill County to Lehigh to see the show and said it was fantastic. Miller said she found out about it through an email from Zoellner, and would definitely recommend the show to others.

STOMP is touring the U.S. until May 11, 2019, and is headed to Ohio for its next performance before continuing to journey around the country.

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