‘America’s Got Talent’ semi-finalists to perform at LMC Mendel Center

Published 9:09 am Tuesday, February 4, 2014

BENTON TOWNSHIP — Classic children’s tales are coming to the LMC Mendel Center Mainstage when “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Tortoise & the Hare” are literally brought into a new and brilliant light through the use of the electroluminescent puppetry in a stage presentation created by Lightwire Theater and Corbian Visual Arts and Dance. The dazzling visuals and poignant choreography will take the stage on Saturday, March 15, at 11 a.m.

Lightwire Theater brings its cutting edge technology, moving sculpture, and dance to this unforgettable theatrical experience. Silent, life-sized puppets are worn and operated by performers who dance to music ranging from pop to jazz to classical. The glowing character outlines will mesmerize both children and adults in the darkened theater.

“Many may remember Lightwire Theater as being a semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent in 2012,” stated Laura Kraklau, LMC executive director of marketing and communications. “When I saw their performance, I knew their show would be perfect for audiences in southwest Michigan.”

Hans Christian Andersen’s classic “The Ugly Duckling” has helped generations of children understand one of humanity’s universal struggles. Lightwire Theater brings this classic story to the modern stage offering hope to us all as we root for the ugly duckling who exemplifies resilience and heroism along the way to becoming a beautiful swan.

Aesop’s fable “The Tortoise and the Hare,” now more than 2,500 years old, continues to drive home the time-tested adage, “Slow and steady wins the race.” Ridiculed by the hare, the tortoise challenges him to a race. They set off and the hare takes a commanding lead but allows himself to be distracted with many modern day activities; texting, video games, and the paparazzi, of course. The tortoise continues to trudge along at his methodical pace and wins the race due to his discipline and fortitude.

Tickets for Lightwire Theater Presents “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Tortoise & the Hare” are $15, $18, and $22 through the LMC Mendel Center Box Office at (269) 927-1221 or www.lmcmainstage.org.

Following the show from noon to 2 p.m., enjoy meeting some furry friends along with a “kid friendly” lunch buffet. The “Pet Party” is $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 3 to 12. Reservations must be made one week prior to the event.

Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more. For information about group rates, pre-show party options, and other special arrangements, contact Mike Nadolski at (269) 927-8109 or mnadolski@lakemichigancollege.edu.

Lightwire Theater Presents “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Tortoise & the Hare” at the LMC Mendel Center is sponsored by Channel 16 WNDU and is underwritten in part by the Gast Young Peoples’ Performance Endowment.