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The Mendel Center Hosts St. Patrick’s Day Bash on March 17th

The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College is taking the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day to a new level when it welcomes Rockin’ Road to Dublin to the main stage on Saturday, March 17th, 2018 at 8 pm. Before this new generation rock and dance concert, the Shamrocked Irish Feast Pre-show Party in Grand Upton Hall will feature a spread of everyone’s favorite Irish foods beginning at 6:30 pm.

Rockin’ Road to Dublin is the new sizzling sensation that fuses of the intensity of a live rock concert experience with the energy and artistry of Irish dance. This stylish, can’t miss spectacle is co-created by Irish dance World Champion Scott Doherty and Celtic rocker Chris Smith.

“This isn’t your typical Irish dance show,” explains Smith (The American Rogues). “It combines the magic of Broadway and the energy of a rock show with the excitement of Irish dance.We’ve taken traditional Irish tunes and updated them to make the entire evening more dynamic and powerful.  It has enough of the tradition people love, but it’s different enough that they will never look back!”

Smith has gathered an elite class of musicians to perform in the Rockin’ Road to Dublin band: Marc Malsegna (award-winning guitarist), Kelly Mills (five-time winner of the Drum Corps and Percussion World Championships), Mike Moore (Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion), Joe Schermann (Guys and Dolls, White Christmas, Grease, Smokey Joe’s Café, and Shout), andCorey Walden (The American Rogues, and founder of The Suzuki School of Milford).

“It’s truly the music that gets the audience on their feet,” insists Doherty (Riverdance and Lord of the Dance), who stars in and has worked his own magic choreographing the critically acclaimed show. “We’ve created this mashup of awesome Irish everything with rock and roll.  It’s a high energy concert mixed in with an Irish dance show.”

The 2009 Men’s World Champion of Irish Dance, Doherty made his professional debut in 2005 with the North American tour of Riverdance, and since has toured the world with that show, as well as with Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance.

For Rockin’ Road to Dublin, Doherty chose three-time international Irish dance champion Ashley Smith to be his lead female dancer. On stage since the age of three, Smith was crowned the World Irish Step Dancing Champion in Belfast in 2004 when she was 16 — making her the youngest American female ever to win the world title at that time. A top-30 female finalist on the hit TV show So You Think You Can Dance, Smith was also a featured dancer in the Oscar-nominated film Silver Linings Playbook.

Additional well-known dancers who join Doherty and Smith include Mark Chichester (Lord of the Dance), Declan Crowley (West Side Story: Mashup), Bernadette Devereaux (Lord of the Dance), Patrick Holland (Cherish the Ladies), Billy Kanaly (Riverdance), Erika Nielsen (Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games), world champion Tyler Schwartz (Celtic Fyre), and Mairéad Stillson (Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games).

“The lyrics of the songs tell a love story that weaves together the music and dance,” explains the show’s director, Broadway’s Jeff Whiting (The Producers — tour; Bullets Over Broadway—tour). “Our goal is to have the audience walk away having had an experience that is entertaining, uplifting, and inspirational.”

Music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations are by Brent Frederick. Original costume design is by Sarah Coffey and Ashley Wilson. Lighting is by Carolyn Wong. Scenic designs are by Brian Barker and Jason Ardizzone-West. Sound consultation is by Trey Smith.

Shamrocked Irish Feast Pre-show Party

For those into great food and beer, then this is the pot o’ gold. Before the journey down the Rockin’ Road to Dublin begins, a traditional Irish buffet including corned beef and cabbage, a build-your-own Reuben station, and shepherd’s pie will be hosted in Grand Upton Hall. In addition to traditional Irish fare, the Shamrocked Irish Feast Pre-show Party will include plenty of beer on tap and other St. Paddy’s Day fun. Dinner includes two complimentary drinks. Tickets for the Shamrocked Irish Feast Pre-show Party are $25. Performance and pre-show party tickets are sold separately. Attendees must be 21 or older to attend the pre-show party.

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Tickets for Rockin’ Road to Dublin and the Shamrocked Irish Feast Pre-show Party are on sale at www.TheMendelCenter.com, through The Mendel Center Box Office at (269) 927-8700, option 1, and in person weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm at the box office located in The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College, 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor. Performance and pre-show party tickets are sold separately. Discounts are available for seniors, students and children, active military members, and veterans.

Groups of 10 or more receive discounts when orders are placed through The Mendel Center Box Office or online. Contact the box office about reserving private pre- and post-show party areas and transform your show experience into an employee appreciation party, birthday party, a gathering of good friends, or other celebration.

The Mendel Center performance of Rockin’ Road to Dublin is sponsored by Rock 107 WIRX and Hilton Garden Inn – Benton Harbor.

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About The Mendel Center Mainstage

The 1,559-seat Mendel Center Mainstage Theatre offers state-of-the-art acoustics and comfortable seating in elegant surroundings. Other amenities include a new assistive listening system, free parking, handicap accessibility, and an array of special services including valet parking, catering and bar service for private pre- and post-show events, booster seats for children, non-spill cups for beverages inside the theatre, and premium seats in the Stage Side section.

The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from the Kalamazoo and South Bend areas. It is located on the Lake Michigan College campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan. The Mendel Center is one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). The GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.