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2022-2023 Mendel Center Season Announced

2022-2023 Mendel Center Season Announced

June 1, 2022

The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College announced its 31st season of events during a special season reveal presentation Wednesday evening to series ticket buyers, supporters, and sponsors.

Among the 17 events scheduled for the 2022-2023 season are Disney’s Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation, The Price is Right LiveTM, The Honorable Malcolm Turnbull, 29th Prime Minister of Australia, three National Geographic Live events which bring to life the awe-inspiring stories of National Geographic Explorers live on stage, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show: 47th Anniversary Spectacular Tour featuring a live appearance by the original “Brad Majors” Barry Bostwick.

“We’ve put together a solid season from top to bottom. It features many well-known performers, speakers, and experiences that audiences are sure to enjoy,” stated Mendel Center Executive Director Mike Nadolski. “Early feedback about the lineup has been overwhelmingly positive. We look forward to a truly entertaining and informative season.”

The 2022-2023 Mendel Center season lineup is:

SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT
Weird Al Yankovic – The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour – Special Guest Emo Philips
Friday, August 26, 2022, 8 pm

Almost four years after his highly-acclaimed Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour, “Weird Al” Yankovic will be pressing his luck again, this time with The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour. As before, rather than focusing on the hits from his career, the show will feature Yankovic’s non-parody material – the somewhat more obscure pastiches and original songs that have largely escaped the pop culture radar but are adored by his long-time fans. He will leave behind the high-octane theatrics and go bare-bones – no costumes, no props, no video screens… just Al and his band of almost four decades hanging out on stage, playing music.

 

THE ECONOMIC CLUB OF SOUTHWESTERN MICHIGAN SPEAKER SERIES
The Honorable Malcolm Turnbull
Former Australian Prime Minister, 2015-2018
Thursday, September 15, 2022, 7:30 pm

Malcolm Turnbull, the 29th Prime Minister of Australia, possesses a unique and timely understanding of the current geopolitical moment. As Prime Minister, he forged lasting connections with leaders around the world and speaks to the influence that their politics have on the world at large. During his tenure, Turnbull was also involved in key policy decisions that have not only altered Australian society but also have international implications for other countries facing similar issues—same-sex marriage, environmental conservation, energy transition, global trade, cyber security, and the ever-worsening refugee crisis. Prior to taking public office, he was a successful entrepreneur and businessman who worked his way to the top of a major global investment banking firm and founded several businesses at home and abroad. Intelligent, humorous, candid, and charismatic, Turnbull shares his valuable insights into issues that are impacting the world during “An Evening with Malcolm Turnbull.”

 

MUSIC PLUS SERIES
Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles
Saturday, September 24, 2022, 8 pm

For more than three decades, Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles has touched the hearts of fans all over the world by respectfully and accurately reproducing the Grammy Award-winning sounds of this great American songbook. This Southern California group is the only show to have “Official Authorization” to perform the Eagles catalog of music. A spirited blend of originality and the pursuit of excellence have taken Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles to a level normally reserved for gold and platinum recording artists. So, join us now…on a trip down a dark desert highway, feel the cool wind in your hair…it’s time to check into the Hotel California.

 

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE
Where the Wild Things Live with Vincent J. Musi, Photographer
Saturday, October 15, 2022, 7 pm

For more than 30 years, award-winning National Geographic photographer Vincent J. Musi has covered diverse assignments – from traveling Route 66 to global warming, life under volcanoes, and Sicilian mummies. But an unusual twist of fate has led him to the highly unpredictable world of animal portraiture. Musi gets up close – almost too close – to his unique subjects, despite the fact that they growl, bark, roar, bite, hiss, claw, poop, and pee on him. With his trademark witty sense of humor, Musi taps into his inner Dr. Dolittle as he shares stories from his encounters with some extraordinary animals, including a bonobo with a 300-word vocabulary, and a crow that makes and uses tools. He visits some exotic pets, the world's deadliest snakes, rodents of unusual size, and other animals you'd never expect to see in someone's living room. Musi will also present his Year of the Dogs project, a work in progress celebrating the beauty and character of these amazing creatures we welcome into our homes, families, and lives. This event is part of The Mendel Center’s Discovery Series and is funded in part by the Gast Young People’s Performance Endowment.

 

SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: 47th Anniversary Spectacular Tour
Sunday, October 16, 2022, 7 pm


Join the original 'Brad Majors' – Barry Bostwick – for a screening of the original unedited movie with a live shadow cast and audience participation! Plus, a display of memorabilia with artifacts and an actual costume from the movie, a costume contest, and more! Also available, exclusive VIP Meet & Greet add-on tickets to meet Barry Bostwick, have a personal photo opportunity with him, and get an autograph.

 

SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT
The Price is Right LiveTM
Sunday, October 30, 2022, 6 pm


The Price Is Right Live™ is the hit interactive stage show that gives eligible individuals the chance to "Come on Down" and play classic games from television's most popular game show. Contestants can win cash, appliances, vacations, and possibly even a new car by playing favorites like Plinko™, Cliffhangers™, The Big Wheel™, and the fabulous Showcase! Showing to near sold-out audiences for more than ten years, The Price Is Right Live™ has given away over $12 million in cash and prizes to lucky audience members all across North America. The Price is Right™ is the longest running game show in television history and loved by generations of viewers. This on-stage travelling version gives fans the chance to experience the same thrilling excitement of winning big, up close and in-person. The Price Is Right Live is produced and licensed by Fremantle.

 

DISCOVERY SERIES
Catapult: Magic Shadows
Saturday, November 5, 2022, 7 pm

An America’s Got Talent finalist, Catapult is a shadow dance company that is truly a theatrical art form using an imaginative combination of dance, storytelling, and sculpture. When you enter the world of Magic Shadows, you will be mesmerized as incredible dancers transform their bodies into seemingly impossible shapes from the world around us. See Vivaldi’s Four Seasons spring to life, travel the world from Paris to Beijing in under 10 minutes, and be amazed as you watch the dancers transform their bodies into everyday shapes including a mountain, an elephant, a dragon, a helicopter, and more! Animated by the dancers’ shadows, every cinematic scene in Magic Shadows is a kaleidoscope of colorful storytelling that will awe and astound you. A great show for the whole family, adults and children alike will be captivated by eight fully realized stories told using only music and shadows. This event is part of The Mendel Center’s Discovery Series and is funded in part by the Gast Young People’s Performance Endowment.

 

 

THE ECONOMIC CLUB OF SOUTHWESTERN MICHIGAN SPEAKER SERIES
Henry Winkler
Emmy Award-winning Actor, Best-selling Author, Director, & Producer
Tuesday, November 8, 2022, 7:30 pm

From his breakout role as The Fonz on Happy Days to his current Emmy Award-winning co-starring role as acting coach Gene Cousineau on the hit HBO dark comedy Barry, Henry Winkler has enjoyed over four decades of success as an actor, producer, and director. His big screen credits include Night Shift, The Waterboy, and The Lords of Flatbush. On stage, Winkler has appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party and The Performers. Beyond the stage and screen, Henry is a New York Times best-selling author. Niagara Falls or Does It? Hank Zipzer the World’s Greatest Underachiever, his first of 34 children’s books written with co-author Lin Oliver, was inspired by his own struggles in school due to undiagnosed dyslexia. His latest book series is Alien Superstar. An advocate for quality children’s programming, Winkler has also produced countless projects for young audiences. During “An Evening with Henry Winkler,” he will share humorous anecdotes and inspirational lessons based on his life and storied career.

 

 

MUSIC PLUS SERIES
A Motown Christmas
Sunday, December 18, 2022, 7 pm


The music and the magic of “A Motown Christmas” return to the Mendel Center just in time to get you into the holiday spirit! The Motortown All-Stars are back by popular demand featuring an all-star line-up of vocalists and musicians assembled from the ranks of the Contours, the Miracles, and the Temptations. Expect impeccable harmonies, flashy outfits, and dazzling choreography. You’ll hear all the Temptations, Four Tops, Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder, and Supremes’ hits you know and love like “My Girl,” “Ain't Too Proud to Beg,” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” as well as holiday classics like "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "Silent Night" performed in that inimitable Motown style. So, “Get Ready”...it’s the most wonderful time of the year and there’s no better way to celebrate than with “A Motown Christmas!”

 

THE ECONOMIC CLUB OF SOUTHWESTERN MICHIGAN SPEAKER SERIES
Wil Haygood
Acclaimed Biographer, Pulitzer Finalist, Award-winning Author & Reporter
Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World
Thursday, January 19, 2023, 7:30 PM

Best-selling author, prize-winning journalist, acclaimed biographer and cultural historian Wil Haygood tells the story of America through the lens of history, politics, sports, race, and the lives of change-making African-Americans. Best known as the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Butler and Showdown, his work has chronicled America’s civil rights journey through acclaimed biographies of Thurgood Marshall, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Sammy Davis, Jr., Sugar Ray Robinson, and Eugene Allen, the real-life inspiration for Lee Daniels’ award-winning film, The Butler. During “Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World,” Haygood offers an unprecedented look at the history of Black cinema, examining 100 years of Black movies – from Gone with the Wind to Blaxploitation films to Black Panther – using the struggles and triumphs of the artists, and the films themselves, as a prism to explore Black culture, civil rights, and racism.

 

DISCOVERY SERIES
Disney’s Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation
Sunday, January 22, 2023, 2 pm

This winter, a new adventure is coming to southwest Michigan. Disney's iconic Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin and their best friends Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, and Owl (oh… and don't forget Tigger too!) have come to life in a beautifully crafted musical stage adaptation. Featuring the Sherman Brothers' classic Grammy Award-winning music with further songs by A.A. Milne, this beautiful fresh stage adaptation is told with stunning life-sized puppetry through the eyes of the characters we all know and love, in a new story from the Hundred Acre Wood. This production is created by renowned family entertainment creator Jonathan Rockefeller, and made by Rockefeller Productions alongside Disney Theatrical Productions. Following a record-breaking New York premiere in 2021, The Hundred Acre Wood is heading to The Mendel Center in 2023! VIP experience tickets are available. Each VIP seat comes with an exclusive merchandise item and photos on stage with select characters after the show. This event is part of The Mendel Center’s Discovery Series and is funded in part by the Gast Young People’s Performance Endowment.

 

 

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE
Greenwood: A Century of Resilience with Alicia Odewale, African Diaspora Archaeologist
Friday, February 10, 2023, 7 pm

A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, archaeologist Alicia Odewale is uncovering stories of resilience in the hundred years since the attack on Black Wall Street in the city’s vibrant Greenwood district. Considered one of the worst episodes of racial violence committed against Black people in American history, the Tulsa Race Massacre left a devastating toll on generations of survivors and their descendants and impacted the very footprint of the district itself. In support of her new research project, “Mapping Historical Trauma in Tulsa from 1921-2021,” Dr. Odewale has been re-examining historical and archaeological evidence of the period – focusing not on the attack itself, but instead on the community’s trauma and triumph in its aftermath. From documenting the personal stories of Greenwood’s residents to mapping the evidence of their resilience, Dr. Odewale’s work illuminates a new perspective on the impact of racism and racial violence in America, through the lens of a community that continues to survive against all odds. Join her to discover how archaeology can be used as a tool for recovering lost stories, reclaiming a narrative, and pursuing restorative justice. This event is part of The Mendel Center’s Discovery Series and is funded in part by the Gast Young People’s Performance Endowment.

 

MUSIC PLUS SERIES
Winter Delights featuring Shining Star: A Tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire
Saturday, February 25, 2023, 8 pm concert; 6 & 7 pm - pre-show wine & chocolate sessions

Winter Delights is back with music, wine, chocolates, brews, and so much fun! On the Mainstage, Shining Star: A Tribute to Earth, Wind, & Fire is ten highly talented vocalists and musicians harmoniously who join forces to present a celebration of the five-decade strong success and popularity of one of the most successful musical stories ever told…Earth, Wind & Fire. Shining Star’s play list is hailed as the definitive collection of Earth, Wind & Fire’s chart-topping hits and includes best loved songs such a “After the Love is Gone,” “Sing a Song,” “September,” the remake of the Beatles classic song “Got to Get you Into My Life,” the group’s namesake “Shining Star,” and disco tracks “Boogie Wonderland” and “Let’s Groove Tonight.” Before the show, local beers and wines will be available in Mainstage lobby beginning at 6 pm. Back by popular demand are the wine and chocolate pre-show sessions. Each session will be offered twice at 6 pm and 7 pm. The concert begins at 8 pm.

 

THE ECONOMIC CLUB OF SOUTHWESTERN MICHIGAN SPEAKER SERIES
SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT
When “No” Leads to Innovation - Debbie Sterling, Founder and CEO of GoldieBlox
Tuesday, March 14, 2023, 7 pm

Debbie Sterling shares her entrepreneurial journey of how she "Disrupted the Pink Aisle" with toys and media to get girls excited about engineering. In this keynote speech, she will share how she and her team overcame rejection by thinking audaciously about how to challenge stereotypes and combat the status quo, all in the name of helping close the gender gap in STEM. Co-presented with Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber.

 

DISCOVERY SERIES
The Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience
Saturday, April 22, 2023, 2 pm & 6 pm


This pawtastic cast of performers and four-legged stars will delight you with high energy excitement from beginning to end! During The Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience, you will witness amazing tricks, big air stunts, comedy antics, dancing dogs, and agility demonstrations, making it the most entertaining show of its kind! Every show includes crowd participation, with the audience split to cheer for their team of dogs during the Golden Bone Showdown. These furry phenoms have been featured at Dollywood, Knotts Berry Farm, Six Flags of America, and on The Tonight Show, Ellen DeGeneres Show, Queen Latifah Show, Animal Planet’s Pet Stars, CBS Early Show, worldwide during the annual Rose Parade, and many more. All the dogs have been rescued from shelters across the country and have been trained using positive training methods with the use of a clicker and toy motivation. This event is part of The Mendel Center’s Discovery Series and is funded in part by the Gast Young People’s Performance Endowment.

 

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE
Improbable Ascent with Maureen Beck, Paraclimber
Saturday, April 29, 2023, 7 pm


During her National Geographic Live appearance at The Mendel Center, world champion paraclimber and 2019 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Maureen Beck will chronicle her adventures as a one-handed athlete in her multimedia presentation “Improbable Ascent.” Maureen works closely with the adaptive climbing community through Paradox Sports and the Paraclimbing section of USA Climbing, and helps manage the Front Range Adaptive Climbing Team. As a competitive climber, she has won five national titles, a gold medal at the 2014 Paraclimbing World Championships in Spain, and defended that title with a gold medal at the 2016 World Championship in Paris. In 2017, Maureen became the chair of the USAC Paraclimbing Committee. This event is part of The Mendel Center’s Discovery Series and is funded in part by the Gast Young People’s Performance Endowment.

 

SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT
The Righteous Brothers
Sunday, April 30, 2023, 7:30 pm

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame duo The Righteous Brothers topped the charts in four decades. Now, Bill Medley joins forces with one of the most versatile vocalists in America, Bucky Heard, to bring The Righteous Brothers back to the stage. Following years of sold out shows on the strip in Las Vegas, Bill and Bucky have hit the road to bring their unique musical magic to concert stages across the country. The Righteous Brothers concert experience features a string of their biggest #1 hits including “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (the most played song in radio history,) “Soul & Inspiration,” “Unchained Melody,” “Rock and Roll Heaven,” Medley’s Grammy-winning Dirty Dancing theme, “The Time of My Life,” and more.

Tickets for The Mendel Center Mainstage 2022-2023 season are available:

Mendel Center series ticket packages are available by purchasing three or more events and come with a number of benefits including ticket pre-sale opportunities, discounts, exclusive services, and advance notice when new events are added. Series ticket buyers who also contribute $50 or more to The Mendel Center achieve membership status and receive additional season benefits.

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.

 

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About The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College

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 patrons in the 1,559-seat Mendel Center Mainstage Theatre. Newly renovated Grand Upton Hall, first opened in 1979, is a 13,700-square-foot venue serving the community as the host site for meetings, banquets, trade shows, weddings, and other celebrations. The 229-seat Hanson Theatre is home to the Lake Michigan College Visual & Performing Arts Departments as well as a variety of Mendel Center and community events.

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.

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Stage Side Sponsors: 1st Source Bank, Honor Credit Union, Huntington Bank, Kruggel Lawton CPAs, Meijer, Silver Beach Pizza, Silver Harbor Brewing Company, Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council, Sturgis Bank, TPC Technologies, Wales Wealth Management Group, Whirlpool Corporation.

Platinum Sponsor: Brookview Montessori School, CK Catering, Hungerford Nichols CPA + Advisors, Imperial Furniture, Insurance Management Services, JVIS USA, Pier 33, United Federal Credit Union

Media Partners: 97.5 Y Country, 98.3 The Coast, The Herald Palladium, The Lake 95.7 MailMax, News/Talk 94.9 WSJM, Rock 107 WIRX, Sunny 101.5, SuperHits 103.7

Preferred Partner Hotels: The Inn at Harbor Shores and The Boulevard Inn & Bistro



Posted June 10, 2022

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