Building on its tradition of presenting programming that introduces children to the wonders of live theatre, The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College is bringing Peg + Cat Live! to the Mainstage for two big shows on Sunday, February 24, at 1 pm and 4 pm. The performance is part of The Mendel Center’s Discovery Series.
Based on the Emmy Award-winning PBS Kids show Peg + Cat (produced by Fred Rogers Productions and 9 Story Media Group), this totally awesome musical features wild comedy, countless favorite songs from the show, and Peg’s super coolest pal Ramone! When Peg’s Mom asks Peg and Cat to mail some really important letters, they come face-to-face with a really big dog. Really. Big. Problem!
To solve it, they’ll need math—bar graphs, size comparison, position words, fair sharing, and a whole lot of counting. They’ll also need to count on each other, and the audience too, for their problem to be solved.
The one-hour performance is ideal for children ages three to seven, and their families. Curriculum connections the show promotes include measurements, shapes, patterns, problem-solving, brainstorming, overcoming obstacles, friendship, and persistence. Research shows that not only does Peg + Cat teach kids math but also improves family attitudes toward math.
This nationally touring production of Peg + Cat Live! is produced by The Bay Area Children’s Theatre in Oakland, Calif., which has produced the tours for Ivy + Bean: The Musical (in conjunction with Maximum Entertainment), Ladybug Girl: The Musical, Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site: The Musical, and Peg + Cat Live.
Producer and director Nina Meehan is a founding company member of Bay Area Children’s Theatre where she has directed such beloved classics as James and the Giant Peach, Little Women, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Pippi Longstocking, and many others. She is an award-winning youth theatre director, most recently winning Outstanding Achievements in Acting at the Broadway Jr. Festival in Atlanta, GA (2013) for her youth production of Pirates of Penzance. Meehan was recognized as one of the 35 faces of Theatre Bay Area and a “Mom who Rocks” by the national family resource website Red Tricycle. She has worked throughout the Bay Area as an actress, educator, storyteller, and director.
Peg + Cat Live! is created by Billy Aronson and Jennifer Oxley, the co-creators of the Peg + Cat PBS Kids TV series.
Aronson’s work in the theater includes the original concept/additional lyrics for the Broadway musical Rent. His plays have been published in six volumes of Best American Short Plays and collected in Funny Shorts. TV writing credits include The Wonder Pets, Beavis and Butt-head, and Courage the Cowardly Dog. With artist Jennifer Oxley he created the PBS Kids show Peg + Cat, which has won Emmy Awards for music, design, writing, acting, and Best Animated Preschool Show.
Oxley was born in Hollywood, Calif., and caught the filmmaking bug early – she made her first film at the age of seven. Since then she has directed fifteen short films for Sesame Street, as well as the award-winning adaptation of Spike Lee and Tanya Lewis Lee’s children’s book, Please, Baby, Please. Her latest film, The Music Box, was acquired by The Museum of Modern Art for their permanent children’s film collection. Her work in children’s television includes directing and artistic credits. Oxley won an Emmy award for her role as director on Little Bill, and she created the look and animation style of The Wonder Pets. Most recently Jennifer teamed up with Billy Aronson to create the hit PBS Kids animated series Peg + Cat!
Tickets for Peg + Cat LIVE! are on sale now starting at $20. They are available online at www.TheMendelCenter.com and through The Mendel Center Box Office at (269) 927-8700, option 1, weekday 10 am to 6 pm. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more, seniors, students and children, active military members, and veterans. For information about group rates, pre-show party options, and other special arrangements, contact the box office.
This performance is made possible in part by the Gast Young People’s Performance Endowment and is sponsored by Meijer.
About The Mendel Center Mainstage
The Mendel Center raised the curtain on its first Mainstage season performance in the fall of 1992. Since that time, it has presented Mainstage season performances to more than half a million attendees. This is in addition to the scores of performing arts, national and international speakers, ceremonies, and community events hosted by other groups and organizations on the Mainstage. The 1,559-seat Mendel Center Mainstage Theatre offers state-of-the-art acoustics and comfortable seating in elegant surroundings. Amenities include free parking, handicap accessibility, and an array of services including catering and bar service for private pre- and post-show events, child booster seats, assistive listening devices, non-spill cups for beverages inside the theatre, and premium seats in the Stage Side section.
About the Discovery Series
Now in its sixth season, The Mendel Center’s Discovery Series provides family-friendly performing arts events for audiences of all ages. The series delivers enriching experiences that introduce young people and their families to the excitement of professionally produced touring productions. The goal of the series is to inspire creativity, spark imagination, educate through the arts, and to create opportunities to build cherished memories while having a lot of fun.
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, one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). Its GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.