International percussion sensation comes to The Mendel Center Mainstage

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

BENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — See what all the noise is about when “Stomp” comes to The Mendel Center Mainstage at Lake Michigan College Sunday February 28, at 4 p.m. From its beginnings as a street performance in the UK, “Stomp” has grown into an international sensation over the past 20 years, having performed in more than 50 countries and in front of more than 24 million people.

Created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, “Stomp” continues its phenomenal run with four global productions: the ongoing sell-out production at New York’s Orpheum Theatre, a permanent London company, and North American and European tours. Throughout its life, the show has continued to change by creating new material. This year, it will incorporate two new pieces. It is safe to say you will never again look at supermarket carts or plumbing fixtures the same way… or paint cans, or kitchen sinks or…

“Stomp,” an overwhelming success marked by rave reviews, numerous awards, and sell-out engagements, is the winner of an Olivier Award for Best Choreography (London’s Tony Award), a New York Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatre Experience, and a Special Citation from Best Plays.

In addition to the stage shows, “Stomp” has been an overwhelming success marked by rave reviews, numerous awards, an Academy Award nomination, four Emmy nominations and one Emmy Award for their acclaimed HBO special Stomp Out Loud, noteworthy TV appearances including The London 2012 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony, The Academy Awards (produced by Quincy Jones), Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and a series of award-winning international commercials.

The performers “make a rhythm out of anything we can get our hands on that makes a sound,” says co-founder/director Luke Cresswell. A unique combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy, “Stomp” has created its own inimitable, contemporary form of rhythmic expression: both household and industrial objects find new life as musical instruments in the hands of an idiosyncratic band of body percussionists. It is a journey through sound, a celebration of the everyday and a comic interplay of characters wordlessly communicating through dance and drum.

Synchronized stiff-bristle brooms become a sweeping orchestra, eight Zippo lighters flip open and close to create a fiery fugue; wooden poles thump and clack in a rhythmic explosion. “Stomp” uses everything but conventional percussion instruments – dustbins, tea chests, radiator hoses, boots, hub caps – to fill the stage with a compelling and unique act that is often imitated but never duplicated.

Critics and audiences have raved: “‘Stomp’ is as crisp and exuberant as if it had opened yesterday,” says The New York Times. The San Francisco Chronicle declares “‘Stomp’ has a beat that just won’t quit!” The Los Angeles Times exclaims: “Electrifying! Triumphs in the infinite variety of the human experience.” “A phenomenal show! Bashing, crashing, smashing, swishing, banging and kicking – a joyous invention!” says the Chicago Tribune.

Tickets for “Stomp” at The Mendel Center Mainstage start at $35 and are available at www.TheMendelCenter.com, and through The Mendel Center Box Office at (269) 927-1221, weekdays 2 to 6 p.m. Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more. For information about group rates, pre-show party options, and other special arrangements contact the box office.

A cash bar in the front lobby opens one hour before show time. Special Mendel Center drink cups are available for purchase, which allow patrons to enjoy their beverages inside the theater.

Ticket prices listed do not include fees. Program subject to change.

The 1,517-seat Mendel Center Mainstage Theatre offers state-of-the-art acoustics and comfortable seating in elegant surroundings. Other amenities include free parking, handicap accessibility with usher-assisted advance seating opportunities, and an array of special services including valet parking, catering and bar service for private pre- and post-show events, booster seats for children, hearing-assist devices, non-spill cups for beverages inside the theatre, and recently added premium seats in the Stage Side section.

The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from Kalamazoo and South Bend. 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).

 

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