Wednesday, January 17, 2018

FIVE REASONS TO SEE 'NEXT TO NORMAL' AT THE MEDIA THEATRE JANUARY 31 THRU FEBRUARY 25

"Next to Normal" is a contemporary family drama, about a woman’s struggle with mental illness, and the effects of her illness on her family. It is on at The Media Theatre January 31 through February 25.

The Pulitzer Prize winning pop/ rock musical is written by Tom Kitt (Music) and Brian Yorkey (Book and Lyrics), and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2010, going on to win three of the prestigious honors (Best Score, Best Orchestrations, and Best Actress-Alice Ripley). 

Most of the story is told through song, with some scenes taking place simultaneously, and also there are both literal and psychological realities within the narrative. While the musical takes on serious issues, there is- at times- humor which comes at unexpected moments in the script.



There are 5 reasons why you should be sure to get tickets to "Next To Normal" at The Media Theatre:

1) THE CAST

Krissy Fraelich plays the lead role of Diana, the suburban mom with two teenage children whose life is not all that it seems. Diana deals with bipolar disorder, goes through a series of doctors, and strives to establish a 'normal' household. Krissy was seen on The Media Theatre stage in "Gypsy", "A Christmas Story: The Musical", and "The Addams Family". She has performed on practically every stage in the Philadelphia region, was in the original Broadway cast of "The Civil War", and the National Tour of "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat".

Ben Dibble plays her husband, Dan, who is dealing with his own depression. Ben is a two-time Barrymore Award winner for Excellence in Theatre and was seen as John Adams in "1776" at The Media Theatre. He performs frequently at The Walnut Street Theatre and The Arden.

Their daughter Natalie, played by Molly Sorensen, is having a new romance with a music student (Henry, portrayed by Christopher Infantino). 

Ronnie Keller plays their son, Gabe, who is very central to the action of the musical.

Doctor Madden, Diana's primary physician whom she sees in 'fantasy' portrayals on occasion, is brought to life on stage by Patrick Ludt.

2) THE DIRECTOR

Geoffrey Goldberg, who directed and choreographed the critically acclaimed production of "Billy Elliot: The Musical" at The Media Theatre two seasons back, returns to bring "Next To Normal" to the stage. He is based in NYC as a director, choreographer, and writer. He has worked on Broadway (Associate Kids Director for "Mary Poppins") and off-Broadway ("Everyday" at the West Village Festival). 
He is currently developing three new musicals, has created new works for Gypsy of The Year and Easter Bonnet Competition on Broadway, The Kennedy Center, as well as award-winning film projects. Visit his website: www.Geoffrey-Goldberg.com

3) THE MEDIA THEATRE

No need to travel far for a touch of Broadway! The Media Theatre, Delco’s only professional music theatre, brings big-city excitement to the small-town feel of State Street in Media. With a calendar full of musical productions, concerts, and children’s performances, the seats here fill quickly–especially since there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
Don’t let the convenience fool you–this theater has a lot of the same things you’ll find in NYC, like a dazzling marquee, professional talent, exquisite seats, and a live orchestra…..plus a few things you won’t, such as convenient parking, affordable prices, and a less stressful commute, making it much easier to catch a great performance more often! After all, here on State Street in Delco, the Show Must Go On!
(Thanks to Destination Delco for the above description of The Media Theatre in their Fall/ Winter 2017 magazine!)
MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of the Media Music Theatre Company is to promote and nurture the imagination, diversity, and joy unique to music theatre by the production of new and classic works; to herald music theatre to young people as an art form that is relevant to their lives and to foster an understanding by them that it is indigenous to their cultural heritage.
The Media Theatre is the recipient of 72 Broadway World Awards for "Best of Philly Theatre" (2012-2016), 8 Barrymore Award nominations for Excellence in Theatre (one win), 20 Reader's Poll Awards as "Best Live Theatre" in Delaware County (from various media outlets), and has been honored by The Delaware County Council, Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, The Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and the US Congress.

4) OUR LIVES ARE AFFECTED BY THE SUBJECT MATTER OF 'NEXT TO NORMAL'
"Next To Normal" reaches beyond demographics of age and geography as its subject matter has, in some way, affected a large percentage of our population in varying degrees. We either deal with psychological disorders on our own, or we know someone who is dealing with them. The causes and effects are astronomical, and deserve discussion, which leads to understanding.

Take a look at the statistics:

Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million American adults or about 2.6 % of the U.S population age 18 and older in a given year. The median age of onset for bipolar disorders is 25 years. More than 2/3 of people with bipolar disorder have at least 1 close relative with the illness or with unipolar major depression, indicating that the disease has a heritable component.

Schizophrenia- Approximately 2.4 million American adults, or about 1.1% of the population age 18 and older in a given year, have schizophrenia. Schizophrenia affects men and women with equal frequency. Schizophrenia often first appears in men in their late teens or early twenties.

Anxiety Disorder- Approximately 40 million American adults ages 18 and older, or about 18.1% of people in this age group in a given year, have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with depressive disorders or substance abuse. Most people with an anxiety disorder will have a first episode by age 21.5.

Panic Disorder- Approximately 6 million American Adults ages 18 and older, or about 2.7% of people in this age group in a given year, have panic disorder. Panic disorder typically develops in early adulthood (median age of onset 24), but the age of onset extends throughout adulthood. About one in three people with panic disorder develops agoraphobia, a condition in which the individual becomes afraid of being in any place or situation where escape might be difficult or help unavailable in the event of a panic attack.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)- ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders in children and in adolescents. ADHD affects 4.1% of adults, ages 18-44, in a given year. ADHD usually becomes evident in pre-school or early elementary years. The median age of onset of ADHD is 7 years, although the disorder can persist into adolescence and occasionally into adulthood. 

5) THE PULITZER PRIZE

"Next To Normal" is one of only nine---yes, just nine---musicals over the years to win The Pulitzer Prize for Drama, since the award has been given in 1918.

The Pulitzer Prize for Drama is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes awarded annually for Letters, Drama, and Music, recognizing a theatrical work staged in the U.S. during a calendar year.  

All of the musicals that have won the Pulitzer are "Of Thee I Sing" (1932), "South Pacific" (1950), "Fiorello!" (1960), "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" (1962), "A Chorus Line" (1976), "Sunday In The Park With George" (1985), "Rent" (1996), "Next To Normal" (2010), and "Hamilton" (2016). 

Do not miss "Next To Normal" at The Media Theatre. It is on our stage January 31 through February 25. Get tickets at mediatheatre.org, or call 610-891-0100. 

(It plays Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings each week, along with Saturday and Sunday matinees. The final two weeks there is an additional Tuesday evening performance)








Thursday, January 11, 2018

THE MEDIA THEATRE HAS CHRISTOPHER INFANTINO CABARET ON JANUARY 28

Christopher Infantino, of Media, returns 'home' to The Media Theatre on Sunday January 28 at 4pm for an intimate cabaret performance in the theatre's elegant Crystal Room. 

Titled "How Far We've Come" the concert will feature several songs Christopher performed as a teen student at The Media Theatre, in summer camp musical productions. He will also perform a few of his favorites by artists such as Lady Gaga and Shawn Mendez.

CHRISTOPHER INFANTINO

His education at The Media Theatre actually started at the age of seven, when he began taking the Saturday morning acting classes as a child. From that point, he appeared in Children's Shows, went on to perform in a few Broadway Series professional productions as a youth, and as a teenager played lead roles in summer teen camp productions such as "Grease", "Footloose", "Rent", and "Jesus Christ Superstar".

Following his time at Media, Christopher attended The Boston Conservatory at Berklee where he received a B.F.A in Musical Theatre in May of 2017. As an adult performer, his credits include "Joseph....Dreamcoat" at Reagle Music Theatre, and "ZM" at Goodspeed Opera House. He teaches Flywheel in Bryn Mawr and Center City when not performing. 

The "How Far We've Come" cabaret will be accompanied by Ben Kapilow, the theatre's Resident Music Director. Tickets are just $20. Limited availability, so call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org for tickets. 


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

MEDIA THEATRE PRODUCTIONS HIGHLIGHT BROADWAY PERFORMERS THIS WINTER

The Media Theatre has several renowned Broadway performers on its stage from January through March. Tony nominee Ann Crumb leads the list, along with Nicholas Saverine, Sean Thompson, Jenny Lee Stern, and Krissy Fraelich.

Philadelphia’s Krissy Fraelich, who appeared on Broadway in “The Civil War” and in the National Tour of “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, is featured in The Media Theatre’s production of the Pulitzer Prize winning musical “Next To Normal” January 31 through February 25. She’ll take on the role of Diane, a mother in suburbia who struggles with bipolar disorder along with its effects on her family. The Los Angeles Times says “Next To Normal” is ‘dazzlingly constructed’, referring to the ‘bracing honesty’ of the music and lyrics by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey.

Just a few days after “Next To Normal” has its final performance at The Media Theatre, Broadway’s Tony nominated Ann Crumb joins with Nicholas Saverine to present a special one-night-only concert during the theatre’s annual fundraising benefit. Titled “No Place Like Home”, the evening event on March 3 features a reception as well as an awards ceremony. The title has special significance to Ann Crumb, as she has a home in Media.  Both she and Saverine have performed several times at Delaware County’s only professional music theatre.

BROADWAY'S TONY NOMINATED ANN CRUMB, WHO APPEARS IN CONCERT MARCH 3,
ALONG WITH NICHOLAS SAVERINE, DURING A BENEFIT PERFORMANCE

Ann Crumb originated the role of Rose in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Aspects of Love” and has many other Broadway credits, as well as Grammy Award nominations. Nicholas Saverine has appeared in several Broadway shows, and shared the stage with Crumb in The Media Theatre’s production of “Sunset Boulevard” three years ago.

Another “Sunset Boulevard” cast member, Sean Thompson, highlights some of his favorite musical numbers in an exclusive concert on March 9. Thompson is currently on tour with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway-bound “Love Never Dies”. He’s a Philly native, Temple grad, and 2016 Barrymore Award nominee. “I’m honored to return home to The Media Theatre,” Thompson said.

SEAN THOMPSON, OF BROADWAY'S 'SUNSET BOULEVARD'
AND THE NATIONAL TOUR OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER'S 'LOVE NEVER DIES.
HE'LL DO A SPECIAL ONE-NIGHT-ONLY CONCERT AT THE MEDIA THEATRE ON FRIDAY MARCH 9

On Broadway, Thompson starred opposite Glenn Close last year in the revival of Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard” (as the understudy to Joe Gillis, he performed the role several times). He was also in the ensemble of that production. Sean played Joe opposite Ann Crumb at the Media Theatre in 2015 under the keen eye of Mr. Jesse Cline. His other productions at The Media Theatre include “Oliver!” (Bill Sykes), “Ghost” (Carl Bruner), “Les Miserables” (Enjolras), and several Media Theatre galas and concerts.

March 15 through April 1 brings Jenny Lee Stern in “Always, Patsy Cline”, which replaces the previously announced “If/ Then”. 

Jenny Lee Stern was seen on Broadway in “A Christmas Story: The Musical” and in “Rocky: The Musical”.  She also toured the country as Mary in “Jersey Boys”. "Always…Patsy Cline" is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. The show is based on a true story about Cline's friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who continued a correspondence with Cline until her death. The show features several of Cline’s greatest hits, which will be performed by Jenny Lee Stern and a live band on stage.

For tickets to see the Broadway performers at The Media Theatre, visit mediatheatre.org or call 610-891-0100.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

MEDIA THEATRE WINTER SEMESTER OF ACTING CLASSES STARTS UP IN JANUARY

The Media Theatre's Winter Semester of Acting Classes begin the weekend of January 6, 2018. Along with the popular Children’s and Teen Acting Classes, a new “Tween” class will join the curriculum. The Adult Class will continue, and the Dance Machine will return.

Each semester brings a fun educational atmosphere as students develop by working together and creating within a group setting.
Students perform on The Media Theatre stage
Classes are under the supervision of Broadway World Award winning Artistic Director Jesse Cline, who studied with the renowned Sanford Meisner. All classes at The Media Theatre follow the Sanford Meisner Technique which basically states that 'acting is living as truthfully as one can under an imaginary circumstance'. This means that all actors should create without copying anyone else's performance or trying to be who they are not. It's a confidence booster while raising self-awareness.
The Acting Classes focus solely on acting skills and stage presence while also featuring improvisational theatre exercises for each age group.

Students from the acting classes are given performance opportunities throughout the year at The Media Theatre, playing roles in the Children's Series such as the upcoming "Princess And The Pea" and, when applicable, the Broadway Series.

Roger Ricker, who has been in over 100 productions at The Media Theatre and has worked with Artistic Director Jesse Cline since 1991, will continue instructing the Level One Children's Class on Saturday mornings at 9am for ages 4-8, and the Level Two Children's Class on Tuesday afternoons at 4:30 for ages up to 11. He'll also instruct the Teen Acting Class on Sunday evenings at 6pm, as well as the new Tween Class on Wednesday afternoons.

Here, by start date, are the classes for the Winter Semester:

The Level One Children's Class starts Saturday January 6 at 9am, continuing for a total of ten weeks. The weekly hour long class is perfect for ages 4 to 8, with a focus on basic stage skills, working with other children, theatre games, and developing good diction and interaction dynamics.

The Teen Class, Sundays from 6-7:30pm, begins the new semester on January 7. The eight week course features group improvisation, as the young actors create scenes together, learning to react without over-analyzing and discovering how they would react to certain situations relevant to their age group.

Tuesday, January 9, is the start date for the Second Level Children’s Class which takes place from 4:30-5:30pm. For ages 8-10 (or for those a bit younger with more stage experience) the class features skill building within fun group theatre exercises. It’s a ten-week semester, an hour each week.

The Adult Acting Class also starts up Tuesday January 9, meeting from 7:30-9pm each week for an eight-week semester. Scene study is a big part of the class.

The new Tween Class, for ages 11-12 (and specific 10 year olds with stage experience) starts Wednesday January 10 for one hour each week. The ten-week course is strictly for youth who are no longer little children but are not quite teenagers. The class will focus on improvisation and building self-awareness as well as stage presence.

The "Media Theatre Dance Machine" starts up again Sunday January 21 meeting from 10am to 11:30am each week through April 8 (no class on Easter Sunday). The instructors are popular Philadelphia performers Ronnie Keller and Kimberly Maxson, both who frequently appear on The Media Theatre stage. The class is suitable for ages 9 and up.
Ronnie Keller and Kim Maxson, Dance Machine instructors
Ronnie Keller says, "We are thrilled to be working together as a team to create a fun, safe, and informative environment where students will learn while having a great time."

"The dance class will focus on learning the importance of strength, rhythm, musicality, and acting through dance," Kimberly Maxson added. "We will focus on body strengthening through proper warm-ups, while introducing students to core ballet techniques, expanding their musical theatre dance repertoire, and learning to sing as an ensemble while retaining this new information."

To register for the Acting Classes or "Dance Machine" call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. All Media Theatre classes are $400 for the Winter Semester.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

MORE PHOTOS FROM DISNEY'S 'BEAUTY AND THE BEAST' AT THE MEDIA THEATRE

More photos from professional photographer Greg Carroccio, whose son Charlie happens to be playing the role of Chip in The Media Theatre's production of Disney's hit musical "Beauty And The Beast", when he had a rare night off from his regular gigs and popped by the theatre to take photos of the production as it was being performed in front of an appreciative live audience.

The musical is on stage now through January 14, 2018, and is just perfect for the holidays. The story is familiar to all by now: Belle meets up with a Prince who is under a witch's spell and may only be broken by true love. The Prince, now a Beast, resides in a castle with inanimate objects who were once his servants. It's fun, funny, and a great time for all ages. 

The show is directed and choreographed by Dann Dunn, with music direction by Ben Kapilow. For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit www.mediatheatre.org


Belle (Alanna J. Smith) with Maurice (Nicholas Saverine)
Belle (Alanna J. Smith)
Belle and The Beast (Jarrett Jay Yoder)
Lumiere (JP Dunphy) with Belle and Babette (Julianna Babb)
Gaston (Bob Stineman) and Lefou (Stephen Fala)
The Beast
Cogsworth (Kelly Briggs) 

Friday, December 15, 2017

PROSPECT PARK POLICEMAN IS SANTA CLAUS IN THE MEDIA THEATRE'S 'JACK FROST'

Henry O' Neill is a busy man. Not only does he regularly work his beat as a Prospect Park Policeman in Delaware County, but he also finds time on occasion to perform in productions at The Media Theatre.

This holiday season, he is Santa Claus in "Jack Frost Saves Christmas". The hour long children's show is on stage Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon through December 31. 

Prospect Park policeman Henry O' Neill with The Media Theatre's Artistic Director Jesse Cline


"I love working with the kids," O' Neill said. "This is a role I played before and it's a lot of fun. The show is a great way to put a smile on your face."

"Jack Frost Saves Christmas" has a Book and Lyrics by Matt Wallace & Tina Jo Wallace, with Music by Scott Bradley (who was once the Media Theatre's resident Music Director). In the show, a boy is formed on a magic mountain at the North Pole. Everything he touches turns to ice, but he learns to accept his uniqueness just as everyone in Christmas Town does the same in order for the holiday to continue. It's a perfect introduction to theatre for ages 4 and up, even including audience participation to help with the story.

Henry O' Neill is no stranger to The Media Theatre stage, having appeared in the Broadway Series productions "To Kill A Mockingbird" and "West Side Story", as well as several other children's shows. His son, Sean, is a New School student at The Media Theatre and has been in several productions as well.

"This is a great way to enjoy the holidays," O' Neill said. "I get to be Santa, sing a few songs, and make people happy."

For tickets to "Jack Frost Saves Christmas" at The Media Theatre, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org




Sunday, November 19, 2017

FIRST LOOK PHOTOS: DISNEY'S 'BEAUTY AND THE BEAST' AT THE MEDIA THEATRE

Professional photographer Greg Carroccio, whose son Charlie happens to be playing the role of Chip in The Media Theatre's production of Disney's hit musical "Beauty And The Beast", had a rare night off from his regular gigs and popped by the theatre to take photos of the production as it was being performed in front of an appreciative live audience.

The musical is on stage now through January 14, 2018, and is just perfect for the holidays. The story is familiar to all by now: Belle meets up with a Prince who is under a witch's spell and may only be broken by true love. The Prince, now a Beast, resides in a castle with inanimate objects who were once his servants. It's fun, funny, and a great time for all ages. 

The show is directed and choreographed by Dann Dunn, with music direction by Ben Kapilow. For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit www.mediatheatre.org
Bob Stineman as Gaston
JP Dunphy as Lumiere, Kelly Briggs as Cogsworth, and Nicholas Saverine as Maurice


Alanna J. Smith as Belle

Alanna J. Smith as Belle with Nicholas Saverine as Maurice
Jarrett Jay Yoder as The Beast with Alanna J. Smith as Belle


Hillary Parker as Mrs. Potts with Charlie Carroccio as Chip and Nicholas Saverine as Maurice
Jarrett Jay Yoder as The Beast

Belle (Alanna J. Smith)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

THE MEDIA THEATRE'S EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM ENLIGHTENS WITH EDUCATION THROUGH THE ARTS

The Media Theatre Empowerment Program has been operational since 1994. Since its inception, and with the support of multiple grants and corporate funding, the Empowerment Program has served over 20,000 students by encouraging arts-rich education and serving the needs of children in surrounding areas who are at an economic disadvantage.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW....
The objective of the Media Theatre Empowerment Program is to encourage an arts-rich education, serving the needs of the children in surrounding areas such as Chester and Delaware Counties, especially those who are economically disadvantaged. Students of all backgrounds and demographics are provided a unique educational opportunity through the Empowerment Program without any financial burden. Due to its success thus far, The Media Theatre is expanding the Empowerment Program, offering scholarship opportunities to students attending Media Theatre’s Acting Classes and summer music theatre Camps.
The Media Theatre Empowerment Program is an outreach program that provides funded tickets for students in grades K-12 to see a live theatrical Broadway-style production. This provides theatre tickets to students attending area public schools. In addition, participating schools are offered the opportunity to attend a post-show theatre workshop. Workshops are held in the Media Theatre’s Crystal Room, integrating the audience and actors. Students may bring their lunches to the theatre and enjoy meeting the professional actors and crew, learning about what goes on behind the scenes when producing a show. Media Theatre would also offer schools participating in the Empowerment Program the option to have an onsite visit from a theatre professional prior to the show date.
The Media Theatre Empowerment Program allows us to develop strong relationships with more schools of need in our surrounding communities. Through free programming, we can continue this initiative to promote unique educational opportunities among the youth in our communities. The Media Theatre believes that musical theatre education can be used as a tool, teaching young people the importance of responsibility, teamwork and imagination.
If you would like to donate to support this important Program which will enlighten the lives of many children and teens in the region, please use this donation page
If you are an educator or a parent who knows of a young actor who would enjoy learning and exploring within our acting classes, please contact Roger Ricker at rer764@gmail.com or Jesse Cline at jlcline100@comcast.net. For information, call 610-891-0100. 


Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Media Theatre Announces Cast for "Jack Frost Saves Christmas" Holiday Family Show 2017

The Media Theatre’s children’s show for the holiday season is coming up soon. “Jack Frost Saves Christmas” is on Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon November 26 through December 31.

This one hour upbeat and heartfelt show for youth of all ages is all about the boy who can't seem to do anything right because everything he touches turns to ice! Soon, however, friendship and the art of giving get everyone in on the act for a wonderful holiday.


"Jack Frost Saves Christmas" was written by Matt and Tina Jo Wallace with music by Scott Bradley, a previous resident music director for The Media Theatre. Songs include "Countdown to Christmas", "Frost", and "Gifts Are For Giving". The show begins at The North Pole where Jack Frost is in the company of four humorous animals who make jokes and sing before he disappears and mistakenly enters a small town's holiday musical.

The production features a cast of the theatre's professionally trained acting, dance, and New School students along with three special guest adult actors.

Austy Hicks
Austy Hicks, recently seen at The Media Theatre as Jesus in “Godspell” and as Enoch Snow Jr. in the Broadway Series production of “Carousel”, plays the lead role of Jack Frost. He was also seen as Jack (a different one!) in “Into The Woods” and was a brother in “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. He’s also been in The Limelight Theatre of West Chester’s “The Wizard of Oz”.

Roger Ricker directs the show and reprises his role as Mr. Holly, the town's Elton John-esque eccentric theatre director. Local actor Henry O' Neill ("West Side Story", "Aladdin", "Annie Jr.") returns as Santa Claus.

This is the third time The Media Theatre brings “Jack Frost Saves Christmas” to its historic stage. It is the only theatre in the Philadelphia region where audiences of all ages are able to enjoy the one hour musical comedy.

Music Direction is by Justin Adams. The colorful costumes are by Carol Sorensen. The show includes audience participation and an opportunity for children to be on stage during the "Rompin' Reindeer" dance.

The show plays Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at November 26 through December 31. To purchase tickets call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. It's just $12 for children and $15 for adults to enjoy this special holiday themed treat.

The complete cast for “Jack Frost Saves Christmas” is:

Jack Frost.......Austy Hicks
Elizabeth.........Hannah Brady / Ilena Mita
Elizabeth's Mom....Isabelle Butera/ Hanna Murphy

Rabbit............Elizabeth Brown/ Lily Lexer
Penguin.........Aiden Fox/ Lily Jo Shelkin
Raccoon........Greyson Heneks / Olivia Stroup
Polar Bear.....Shannon Clark/ Noelle Longenberger

Mr. Holly.......Roger Ricker

Anna, the dancer.............Bridget Henry
Michael, the singer.........Zachary Amos/ Charles Lamonaca

Father Winter and Santa.....Henry O' Neill

Story Tellers.......Alyssa Carlow, Savanna Galloway, Zoe Nesbitt, Lauren Saddic

News Vendors....Brooklyn Bonner, Leo Koncos, Drew Murphy, David Potts, 
                             Audrey Siu, Madison Vassilakopoulos

Townspeople....All actors when not playing double cast role listed
                          (Also News Vendors are always Townspeople as well)

Understudies:
Jack Frost......Leo Koncos
Mr. Holly/ Santa.........Tim Haney
                          



Monday, September 25, 2017

The Media Theatre Announces All-Star Cast For "Next To Normal" (Jan. 31 to Feb. 25)

The Media Theatre has “Next To Normal” this season, January 31 through February 25, and it’s the region’s only production which features an entire cast that is made up of members of Actors Equity Association. The all-star cast is well known to theatregoers from Philadelphia to West Chester, as well as from Bucks, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties.

“Next To Normal”, with a book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, deals with one suburban household’s ability to cope with crisis and mental illness. The musical won three Tony Awards in 2009, including Best Score, as well as the Pulitzer Prize in 2010.

The musical is deeply moving and was chosen as ‘one of the year’s ten best shows’ by major critics including from The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.

In “Next To Normal”, a mother who has been battling manic depression for 16 years must learn to deal with major crisis within the family. An intense and heartfelt pop-rock musical, the show was hailed as being ‘Brave and breathtaking’ by The New York Times.



Krissy Fraelich will play the role of Diane, the mother of the household. Fraelich appeared on The Media Theatre stage previously in the power-house role of Mama Rose in “Gypsy”, and had supporting roles in Media’s “A Christmas Story: The Musical” as well as “The Addams Family”. She previously played the role of Diane at The Arden Theatre, and among her other credits was in the National Tour of “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. Fraelich had the honor of performing under the music direction of Jason Robert Brown in his musical “Songs For A New World” at Symphony Space in NYC. She also was a member of the Broadway Gospel Choir and performed at Carnegie Hall.

Ben Dibble, a Barrymore Award winning actor, will play her husband, Dan. He was John Adams in Media’s “1776” two seasons ago, and most recently was seen at The Walnut Street Theatre in “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum”. Dibble has appeared on every major theatre in the Philadelphia region, in dozens of productions ranging from “A Year With Frog And Toad” to “Arsenic and Old Lace”.

The role of Natalie, the daughter, will be played by Molly Sorensen. She was seen in The Media Theatre’s regional professional premiere of “The Bridges of Madison County: The Musical” in 2016. A past winner of the theatre’s prestigious “Vocalist Junior” summer singing competition, the Malvern resident is now 16 years old.

Ronnie Keller will play the integral role of the brother, Gabe. Keller has been seen on The Media Theatre stage in Disney's "Beauty And The Beast" as well as “Side Show” and “West Side Story”. He was recently seen in The Walnut Street Theatre’s “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum”, and has appeared on several regional stages.

Christopher Infantino, of Media, will play the role of Henry. He is thrilled to return home to The Media Theatre, where he studied as a child and teenager, after receiving a B.F.A in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee back in May 2017. Christopher has performed in Joseph...Dreamcoat (Reagle Music Theatre, Reuben), ZM (Goodspeed Opera House). You can find him teaching Flywheel in Bryn Mawr and Center City when not performing.

Doctor Fine/ Doctor Madden will be played by Patrick Ludt, who has been in over a dozen shows at The Media Theatre including “Jekyll And Hyde: The Musical”, “My Fair Lady”, “Side Show”, and “A Christmas Story: The Musical”. He has also appeared in several productions at Bucks County Playhouse and other regional theatres.

“Next To Normal” contains strong language and deals with mature subject matter. It is not recommended for children. The musical is on stage at The Media Theatre January 31 through February 25. Geoffrey Goldberg directs, with music direction by Ben Kapilow. Tickets are on sale now at www.mediatheatre.org or by calling 610-891-0100.



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

THE MEDIA THEATRE'S 'CAROUSEL'....FIRST LOOK PHOTOS!

The Media Theatre has Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical “Carousel” as the opener for its 2017-18 Broadway Series season. The beloved show plays through October 22.

The musical takes place between 1873 and 1888 in a small New England fishing village. The tale revolves around a love affair between Billy Bigelow, a travelling carnival man, and Julie Jordan, a local factory worker. Billy loses his life during an attempted robbery but is allowed to return to earth for a short time to seek out his daughter. 

The 1945 musical reunited the creative team that had brought Oklahoma! to the stage two years earlier. The New York Daily Mirror wrote: "Carousel is beautiful, bountiful, beguiling...it is the product of taste, imagination and skill." In 1999, TIME Magazine voted Carousel "Best Musical of the Century!"

“Carousel” has a memorable score, featuring songs such as “If I Loved You” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

The Media Theatre’s cast features Broadway’s Joseph Spieldenner in the role of Billy Bigelow. Spieldenner was recently seen in the revival of “Les Miserables”. Prior to his Broadway career, he was in The Media Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!” as Curly.

The Media Theatre’s production is directed by its Artistic Director Jesse Cline, with music direction by Ben Kapilow. Dann Dunn choreographs. "Carousel" is on stage through October 22. GET TICKETS or call 610-891-0100. 

Here are First Look Photos of the production, by photographer Greg Carroccio.

Joseph Spieldenner as Billy Bigelow, with Maxwell Porterfield as Julie Jordan
Carl Nathaniel Smith as Jigger
George Slotin as Mr. Snow
Beada Briglia as Billy's daughter, Louise

Elisa Matthews as Nettie Fowler
Billy Bigelow (Joseph Spieldenner) and Julie Jordan (Maxwell Porterfield) 


FIVE REASONS TO SEE 'NEXT TO NORMAL' AT THE MEDIA THEATRE JANUARY 31 THRU FEBRUARY 25

"Next to Normal" is a contemporary family drama, about a woman’s struggle with mental illness, and the effects of her illness on ...