The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College announced its 28 th season of Mainstage performances during a special season reveal presentation Wednesday evening to Series members and sponsors. The 2019-20 lineup includes 11 shows that span the spectrum of Broadway, music, dance, illusion, family programming, and comedy.
Among the headliners are Million Dollar Quartet that opens its 10 th anniversary national tour at The Mendel Center, improv comedy from Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, the debut tour of The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical, a special engagement featuring The Manhattan Transfer with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and Winter Delights, a day-long indoor music, art, food, craft beer, and wine festival.
“This season is filled with special highlights that audiences are going to enjoy,” stated Grace Kelmer, director of The Mendel Center Mainstage. “We’re excited to be among the first group of theaters in the country to present The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical. It is also a special treat to be the opening night venue for the 10 th anniversary tour of Million Dollar Quartet.” Kelmer went on to add that this marks The Mendel Center’s third season partnering with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra.
“We are looking forward to co-presenting another crowd-pleasing evening with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra. Combining their sound with the vocal brilliance of The Manhattan Transfer is going be an incredible evening on the Mainstage,” Kelmer commented.
The 2019-20 Mendel Center performing arts season lineup is:
Beatles vs. Stones: A Musical Showdown, Saturday, September 21, 2019, 8 pm, $26 – $48
The British Invasion brought us the two most popular rock groups of all time, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, as well as the liveliest debate in rock history – which band is the greatest? These two legendary bands will engage in a musical “shoot out of the hits” featuring internationally renowned tribute bands, Abbey Road and Satisfaction – The International Rolling Stones Show when Beatles vs. Stones: A Musical Showdown comes to The Mendel Center. Alternating power sets culminating with the two bands coming together on stage for an amazing encore makes this show a once-in-a-lifetime event. Sponsored by Chemical Bank.
Million Dollar Quartet, Tuesday, October 1, 2019, 7:30 pm, $38 – $80
On December 4, 1956, four young musicians – Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins – gathered at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll jam sessions ever. The Tony® Award winning smash-hit musical Million Dollar Quartet brings that unbelievable musical moment to life, featuring timeless and enduring hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “That’s All Right,” “Sixteen Tons,” “I Walk the Line,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Hound Dog,” and more. Don’t miss your chance to experience this red- hot moment in rock ‘n’ roll history during the 10th anniversary national tour.
Mike Super – Magic and Illusion, Friday, October 18, 2019, 8 pm, $26 – $48
As the winner of NBC’s hit TV show Phenomenon, top finalist on America’s Got Talent, and featured magician on the season premier episode of Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Mike Super is the only magician in history to win a LIVE magic competition on prime time US network television and be voted America’s Favorite Mystifier, making him one of the most sought after mystifiers in the world. Enjoy this family friendly performance and join the journey of emotions – from laughter, intrigue, danger, and fear to wonder, anticipation, tears, and sentimentality – that only Mike Super delivers. Made possible in part by the Gast Young People’s Performance Endowment and sponsored by Honor Credit Union.
Mystic India: The World Tour, Friday, November 8, 2019, 8 pm, $32 – $54
Dynamic music. Brilliant dancers. Opulent costumes. Stunning visual effects. Mystic India: The World Tour is an internationally acclaimed Bollywood dance spectacular based on the concept of ancient India’s transition into modern India. Expect an explosion of colors and energy as you travel on a celebratory journey through Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Gujarat, and even through the progression of Bollywood films via a stunning visual display that fuses dance, theater, and spectacular special effects. Over half a million people have seen Mystic India: The World Tour since its inception through successful tours in South Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Bahrain, China, and hundreds of sold-out venues in the United States.
The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical, Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 7 pm, $29 – $59
The beloved tradition that continues to capture the hearts of children and their families everywhere comes to the live stage for the first time ever in The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical ! This all-new musical and premiere stage production includes an exclusive invitation to Santa’s North Pole and engages audiences with a glimpse into the magical lives of Scout Elves. Featuring an original story and score, dazzling sets and costumes, and wondrous moments that make even the most cynical believe, this momentous celebration of the season leaves spirits high and captivates all with the splendor of Christmas. Made possible in part by the Gast Young People’s Performance Endowment.
VIP Experience – 5:30 pm, $50 per family Attendees can complete The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical experience with the exclusive pre- show photo opportunity with a Scout Elf. Photos will take place in front of a magical North Pole backdrop, featuring a Christmas tree decorated by Santa’s Scout Elves, where children can leave a personalized message for Santa. Printable ornaments will be available for download at www.elfontheshelfmusical.com. As a commemorative takeaway, the VIP access badge becomes a keepsake that can be hung on family Christmas trees for years to come. VIP ticket allows for one photo per family, taken on the family’s camera by our staff, with the Scout Elf.
The Manhattan Transfer with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Saturday, February 8, 2020, 7:30 pm, $45 – $85
Beginning with their first performance in the early 1970s, The Manhattan Transfer have become the cornerstones of contemporary music. These veterans of sold-out tours have garnered worldwide sales in the millions and Grammy Awards by the dozen. Known for their vocal versatility that incorporates pop, jazz, R&;B, rock and roll, swing, symphonic, and a cappella music, The Manhattan Transfer are heralded as one of the most important and innovative groups in the history of popular music with their impeccable four-part harmonies and genre-defying appeal. They join the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra on The Mendel Center Mainstage for an unforgettable night that will pair soaring symphonic arrangements with sparkling vocals.
Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure: The Mysteries of the Dinosaurs of the Deep, Saturday, February 15, 2020, 11 am & 2 pm, $16 – $32
The creators of Earth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live want to take your family on an all new adventure – this time to the bottom of the ocean. Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure is an immersive experience that invites you to jump in and explore unknown ocean depths where prehistoric marine reptiles lived eons ago – and maybe live still today! Erth shows are at the forefront of family entertainment, using actors, technology, puppets, science, and imagination to create an amazing visual experience that connects young audiences to the real science of paleontology. Made possible in part by the Gast Young People’s Performance Endowment and sponsored by Meijer.
At 9:30 am and 3 pm, Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure VIP Experiences will be held in the Mainstage. This is an up-close-and-personal introduction to one of the amazing underwater creatures. The VIP Dino Pack includes an exclusive encounter with one of the creatures. Photo taking is encouraged. Tickets are $15 per person.
Between performances, The Mendel Center hosts the Prehistoric Seaside Luncheon beginning at noon in the Mainstage Lower Lobby. Tickets are $10 for ages 3 – 12, and $15 for ages 13 and older. Tickets for the performance, VIP Meet & Greet, and luncheon are sold separately.
Winter Delights Festival, Saturday, February 29, 2020, doors open at 1 pm
-All-access pass – $50/$60 day of event
-Mainstage all-ages concert pass – $30/$35 day of event
-Grand Upton Hall Taste Faire & Stage pass – $30/$35 day of event (21 and older)
-Grant Upton Hall Taste Faire & Stage designated driver pass – $20
After taking a year off, Winter Delights returns with a bigger schedule of events, more food, more regionally made beverages, local visual artists, and a new focus on music with two stages – all indoors at The Mendel Center. The Grand Upton Hall Taste Faire & Stage features up to 30 Michigan craft beer, wine, and cider makers along with food pairings from a variety of local eating establishments from 1 to 8 pm. The Grand Upton Hall Taste Stage headliner is Bryan Lubeck , with local acts opening for him. Mainstage entertainment begins at 4 pm with The Reminders , a duo that pulls from the genres of reggae, hip hop, world, roots, and folk music; JigJam , a multi-award winning quartet from Ireland that blends
traditional Irish music with Bluegrass and Americana; and Six Appeal , a world-class, Minnesota-based a cappella group who performs current chart toppers, classic oldies, and original tunes. Attendees can choose Mainstage access, Grand Upton Hall Taste Faire & Stage access, or all-access passes. Sponsored by the Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council and The Boulevard Inn & Bistro.
Halcyon Shows presents Aureum: An Aerial and Acrobatic Adventure Tale, Saturday, April 4, 2020, 8 pm, $26 – $48
Aureum is an adventure tale told through heart-stopping aerial routines and amazing acrobatics. A time traveler meets the beautiful defender of nature’s power – only to find that power threatened by dark forces. Thrill to the incredible original soundtrack, choreography, and some never-seen-before aerial performances. Halcyon Shows creates a new genre known as theatrical acrobatics, which seamlessly integrates compelling storytelling and characters with world-class acrobatics and aerial artistry. Made possible in part by the Gast Young People’s Performance Endowment and sponsored by Hilton Garden Inn.
Motown All-Star Spectacular, Friday, May 15, 2020, 7:30 pm, $35 – $65
The music and the magic of Motown return to The Mendel Center featuring the voices and the musicians who started it all, and those who’ve kept it center stage for the last 60 years! Starring… The Motortown All-Stars singing all your Motor City favorites like “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “Do You Love Me,” “The Tears of a Clown,” and more! Plus… Rock & Roll Hall of Famers The Original Vandellas (“Heatwave,” “Dancin’ in the Streets,” “Jimmy Mack,” “Nowhere to Run”), The Marvelettes (“Beechwood 4-5789,” “Please Mr. Postman,” “Too Many Fish in the Sea”), and The Shades of Blue (“Oh How Happy”). Presented by Praia Entertainment Group.
Colin Mochrie & Bran Sherwood: Scared Scriptless, Thursday, May 28, 2020, 8 pm, $34 – $58
Armed with only their wits, Whose Line is it Anyway? stars Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood are taking to the live stage and they’re… Scared Scriptless . Prepare to laugh yourself senseless as improv comedy masterminds Colin & Brad must make up original scenes, songs, and more from whatever you, the fans, suggest! You just might also get to join in on the fun on stage. It’s a hilarious comedic high wire act… just like a live version of Whose Line! How the heck do they do it? We don’t know either! Don’t miss the best duo in improv in the Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood: Scared Scriptless Tour.
Tickets for The Mendel Center Mainstage 2019-20 season are available:
● Now through June 4 – Pre-sale for renewing Mainstage Performance Series members and Speakers Series members who purchase three or more shows
● June 5 to 11 – Presale for new and renewing Mainstage Performance Series members who purchase three or more shows
● June 12 – Individual performances and speakers series events go on sale to the public at 10 am.
Performance series member ticket packages are available throughout the season.
Mainstage Performance Series member ticket packages are available by purchasing three or more shows and come with a number of benefits including ticket pre-sale opportunities, discounts, exclusive services, and advance notice of when new shows are added.To purchase tickets or learn more visit www.TheMendelCenter.com or contact The Mendel Center Box Office at (269) 927-8700, option 1, weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm.