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Mendel Center Announces 2012-13 Mainstage Season

18-show line-up makes season the largest in a decade

June 21, 2012

BENTON TOWNSHIP, MI – The Lake Michigan College Mendel Center has announced its 2012-2013 Mainstage season that kicks off Saturday, September 29, with solo piano sensation Jim Brickman. Series tickets for packages of three or more shows are on sale beginning today, June 21. Individual show tickets will go on sale Tuesday, July 17, at 10 a.m.

Among the season’s headliners are a special, two-night engagement of Blue Man Group, NETworks presentation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the Broadway musical Hair, “Spirituals to Funk” starring Dr. John and the Blind Boys of Alabama, and eight performances of the audience-participation, off-Broadway hit Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding.

According to Deedy Fowler, interim director of the LMC Mendel Center Mainstage, the season has a fresh look built around special events, nationally touring Broadway productions, music, comedy, and shows for children.

“Audiences will see something to talk about with this year’s line-up,” stated Fowler. “We’ve expanded the types of performances to appeal to audiences who might be new to the Mendel Center, while still offering plenty of the selections that our loyal patrons have come to expect.”

Fowler went on to add that some of the shows will not only appeal to typical theater-going audiences, but to educators throughout the region.

“The Acting Company, the premier theater ensemble from New York, will bring adaptations of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men to our stage,” Fowler stated. “This will be a great opportunity for high school and college instructors and their students to infuse live theater into their curriculums. The New York-based Parsons Dance also has great potential as an introduction to live theater for young adult audiences.”

The Mendel Center Mainstage 2012-2013 line-up includes:

Jim Brickman – The Romanza Tour
Saturday, September 29, 8 p.m.
With over seven million records sold, Jim Brickman’s romantic piano sound has made him the best-selling solo piano artist of our time. The two-time Grammy®-nominated pianist and songwriter’s best-known compositions include “Valentine,” “The Gift,” “Love of My Life,” “Simple Things,” and “Peace.”

The Blues Brothers Revue
Saturday, October 6, 8 p.m.
The only Blues Brothers show officially sanctioned by Dan Aykroyd and wife of the late John Belushi, The Official Blues Brothers Revue combines the comedy and hits from the original movie and pays homage to Chicago’s rich history of blues, gospel, and soul music.

Capitol Steps
Sunday, October 14, 7 p.m.
No political person or entity is above satirizing when the Capitol Steps take aim at democracy. Founded by congressional staffers, the Capitol Steps plan to bring down the house…and Senate with their unique blend of music and political comedy. They put the “mock” back in democracy!

“Spirituals to Funk” starring Dr. John and The Blind Boys of Alabama
Saturday, October 27, 7 p.m.
"Spirituals to Funk" features Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Dr. John and five-time Grammy® Award Winners The Blind Boys of Alabama. "Spirituals to Funk" represents the first-ever touring partnership between two icons of American music, and explores the connections between jazz, blues, and gospel.

Blue Man Group
Monday & Tuesday, October 29 & 30, 7 p.m.
Blue Man Group will thrill southwest Michigan with its high-octane theatrical experience. Escape the ordinary and surround yourself in an explosion of comedy, music, and technology. If you’ve never seen Blue Man Group, it’s a must-see. If you’re already a fan, don’t miss it.

John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean
Sunday, November 4, 2 p.m.
A one-of-a-kind live black-light puppet show, John Tartaglia's ImaginOcean is a magical undersea adventure for kids of all ages. Tank, Bubbles, and Dorsel are three best friends who just happen to be fish, and they're about to set out on a remarkable journey of discovery.

Parsons Dance
Saturday, November 17, 7 p.m.
The fetching, exuberant personality and movement of Parsons Dance fuses modern dance with the discipline and precision of a classical company. Known for engaging and uplifting works of extraordinary artistry, Parsons Dance was formed by David Parsons, whom The New York Times called “one of the great movers of modern dance.”

Lee Greenwood - Tennessee Christmas
Saturday, December 15, 8 p.m.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas with singer/songwriter Lee Greenwood. In his Mendel Center performance, Greenwood will deliver an evening of seasonal songs such as “White Christmas,” “Little Drummer Boy,” and “Joy to the World.”

The Russian National Ballet Theatre presents Swan Lake
Sunday, January 13, 2 p.m.
Experience a classic story of the search for love, love unrequited, and redemption that only true love can bring with Swan Lake. This Russian National Ballet Theatre performance upholds the grand, national tradition of exquisite storytelling through the time-honored art of dance.

How I Became a Pirate
Saturday, February 9, 2 p.m.
Shiver me timbers! Young Jeremy Jacob is recruited by Captain Braid Beard and his mates to find the perfect digging spot for their treasure. While experiencing adventures of pirate life, Jeremy comes to realize that the simple things in life are among the most important.

TRACES
Sunday, February 10, 7 p.m.
TRACES combines awe-inspiring acrobatics with infectious urban energy. The artists of TRACES employ every trick in the book—from music, dance, and illustration to skateboarding, basketball, and high-risk acrobatics—to make a lasting impression. TRACES will unleash 90 minutes of heart-stopping acrobatics and unbridled energy leaving you breathless and exhilarated.

The Acting Company presents Of Mice and Men
Tuesday, March 19, 7 p.m.
John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men tells the tragic story of two California migrant ranch workers during the Great Depression and is one of the most widely read stories in America. The Acting Company, which brings this classic to life, is heralded by the New York Times “as the major touring classical theater in the United States."

The Acting Company presents As You Like It
Wednesday, March 20, 7 p.m.
One of Shakespeare’s most popular fairy tales, As You Like It is a metaphor of love; its power, madness, danger, humor, and reflection. The Acting Company, which brings this classic to life in modern-day form, is heralded by the New York Times "as the major touring classical theater in the United States."

Enchantment Theatre Co. presents The Velveteen Rabbit
Saturday, March 23, 2 p.m.
"When a child loves you for a long, long time...then you become real." So says Horse to Velveteen Rabbit in Margery Williams' much-loved literary classic. With an original musical score, life-sized puppets, masks, and magic, this tale of love and devotion comes to life.

Jukebox Junction starring The Diamonds with The Glenn Miller Orchestra
Sunday, April 14, 7 p.m.
Jukebox Junction is the high-energy, non-stop musical revue featuring The Glenn Miller Orchestra and The Diamonds. You’ll take a nostalgic trip through four decades of America’s favorite music – from big band hits to doo-wop and rock and roll classics.

Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding
April 18 – 21 & April 25 – 28
7 p.m. Thursday – Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee
It’s a wedding. It’s a feast. It’s a show! Actors exchange vows. And you, the audience, play the parts of Tony and Tina’s family and friends, joining them for the reception, feast, and hilarious family dramas. Eat, drink, dance, converse, and get caught up in the festivities of this all-inclusive, interactive matrimonial experience. Ticket includes the ceremony, reception, Italian Baked Ziti Dinner, champagne toast, wedding cake, music, dancing, and much more! General admission seating.

Hair
Tuesday, May 7, 7 p.m.
The Public Theater’s new Tony®-winning production of Hair is an electric celebration on stage! This exuberant musical about a group of young Americans searching for peace and love in a turbulent time has struck a resonant chord with audiences young and old. Hair features an extraordinary cast and unforgettable songs, including “Aquarius,” “Let the Sun Shine In,” "Good Morning, Starshine," and “Easy To Be Hard.” Its relevance is undeniable. Its energy is unbridled. Its truth is unwavering. It's Hair, and it’s time. (FOR MATURE AUDIENCES. While many find this show suitable for young adults (13 and older), parental discretion is advised. There is a dimly lit 20-second scene with nudity that is non-sexual in nature.)

NETworks presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Friday, May 17, 8 p.m.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the smash hit Broadway musical, is coming! Based on the Academy Award®-winning animated feature film, this eye-popping spectacle has won the hearts of over 35 million people worldwide. This classic musical love story is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers including “Be Our Guest” and the beloved title song.

The Mendel Center Box Office is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday for phone and walk-up orders. For more information, visit www.lmcmainstage.org, contact the Mendel Center Box Office at (269) 927-1221, or visit the website.

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The 1,517-seat Mendel Center Mainstage Theatre offers state-of-the-art acoustics and comfortable seating in elegant surroundings. Other amenities include free, lighted parking; handicap accessibility (inside and out); and an array of special services.

The Mendel Center is a short 30-minute drive from Niles and within a 40-minute drive of Kalamazoo or South Bend. It is located on the Lake Michigan College Napier Avenue campus in Benton Township, Michigan. The Mendel Center is on Napier Avenue one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24).

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