Monday, January 6, 2020

THE MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST OF 'ELEANOR, AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY'

A rarely produced musical that chronicles the story of the shy young aristocrat who was destined to become our First Lady, "Eleanor, An American Love Story", will be at The Media Theatre January 29 through February 23.

Warmth, humor, and insight propel the story of the evolving relationship between Eleanor and Franklin including their passionate courtship, tumultuous marriage, and the courage that eventually led to Eleanor’s emergence as a catalyst for social change.
Music by Thomas Tierney; Lyrics by John Forster; Book by Jonathon Bolt
Songs include “How The Other Half Lives”, “Our Beautiful Daughters” and “The New Century Walk”
The Washington City Paper says the show is “A snappy throwback to the era when Broadway musicals knew what they were about and how to entertain.”
It's an especially relevant musical for today's times, as it highlights a champion for women's rights.
Directed by Jesse Cline, with Ben Kapilow as Music Director, "Eleanor, An American Love Story" has a cast of professional actors and features a live orchestra, as do all of The Media Theatre's Broadway Series musicals. TICKETS HERE

The cast of "Eleanor" is:
Eleanor Roosevelt.............Maxwell Porterfield
Franklin Delano Roosevelt............Patrick Ludt*
Sara Roosevelt..............................Susan Wefel
Louis Howe...................................Roger Ricker*
Alice Roosevelt.............................Hannah Parke*
Teddy Roosevelt...........................Kelly Briggs*
Lucy Mercer..................................Chelsea Aubert
Ensemble: Sara Braslow*, Chris Fitting, Rusty Flounders*, Leah Senseney, Grant Struble, JJ Vavrik, Marissa Wolner*
YOUTH CAST:
Young Eleanor.....Lila Bea Hannon/ Lily Jo Shelkin
Young James.......Elliott Boldin/ Preston Newton
Teen James..........Zachary Amos/ Tyler Matthewz
Teen Anna............Grace Conroy/ Madison Van Horn
Maria.....................Lulu Spinelli/ Chloe Tomaszewski
Spike.....................Reese Masiello/ Sutton Gold
Pepini....................Charlie Carroccio/ Zoe Nesbitt
*Member Actors Equity Association




Wednesday, November 27, 2019

THE MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO 'THE VOCALIST' 2020

Even though it's the holiday season, talent never rests! So The Media Theatre is announcing changes to its summer singing contest "The Vocalist".

Well, actually, this summer it's just "The Vocalist Junior" for ages 7-13. There will not be a "Vocalist" for ages 14-24 in 2020. 

THE 2019 VOCALIST JUNIOR WINNER, ELLIOTT BOLDIN.
HE IS CURRENTLY PERFORMING IN 'JACK FROST SAVES CHRISTMAS'
AT THE MEDIA THEATRE
SUNDAYS AT NOON
"We are re-organizing the contest," said Artistic Director Jesse Cline. "Times are changing, and the interests of older youth are changing with the times. We decided it best to focus on the younger age group this summer, as the Junior version of the contest has overtaken the original version in popularity."

"The Vocalist Junior" will be moving to Wednesday nights in July, leaving Sunday evenings free for families to return from the shore or to relax at home. For the Junior contestants, rehearsals will take place each Tuesday at 4:30pm prior to the Wednesday night performance at 7pm.

The contest itself will remain as it was: an opportunity for young performers to hone their craft while performing in front of a live audience. As they sing on the stage of Delaware County's only professional music theatre, they will learn valuable lessons on stage presence. After the four-week Wednesday night run, a "Junior" winner will be announced.

So, even though the holidays are upon us, it's not too early to start thinking about the summer's popular "Vocalist Junior" event, especially if you are planning a vacation.
The contest will take place on July 8, 15, 22, and 29 at 7pm.

Auditions will take place in May. Anyone interested may email Roger Ricker at rer764@gmail.com for information until then.


Monday, November 25, 2019

THE MEDIA THEATRE RECEIVES 39 'BEST OF PHILLY THEATRE 2019' BROADWAY WORLD NOMINATIONS

The Media Theatre received 39 nominations for the Broadway World 2019 "Best of Philadelphia Theatre" Awards, sponsored by TodayTix.

The nominations were made by the theatre community, and voting will take place through the end of December online at the Broadway World Philadelphia site. Voting is open to the theatre community and members of the general public. To vote, follow this link: https://www.broadwayworld.com/philadelphia/voteregion.cfm



Broadway World is an online theatrical media magazine, which gives an up-to-date daily journal of the latest theatrical news from Broadway to London's West End.

Shows produced between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019 were eligible.

MELISSA RAPALJE AND JESSE CORBIN IN 'SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER'.
BOTH ARE NOMINATED FOR BROADWAY WORLD AWARDS FOR THEIR PERFORMANCES IN DIRECTOR JESSE CLINE'S PRODUCTION FROM LAST SPRING.
THE MUSICAL RECEIVED 9 NOMINATIONS.
Last spring's "Saturday Night Fever" received 9 nominations, the most of any of The Media Theatre's productions eligible. It was directed by Jesse Cline, who received a nomination for his work on that show as well as a second nomination for directing "Sweeney Todd".

The Media Theatre has, in recent years, received 92 "Best of Philadelphia Theatre" Awards from Broadway World. Its nominations this year include:

BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL: "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER", "THE WIZARD OF OZ" 

BEST PRODUCTION OF A PLAY: "JULIUS CAESAR" 

BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL: JESSE CLINE, "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER"; JESSE CLINE, "SWEENEY TODD"

BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY: BILL VAN HORN, "JULIUS CAESAR"

BEST ENSEMBLE OF A MUSICAL: "BEEHIVE"; "FOREVER PLAID"; "THE WIZARD OF OZ"

BEST ENSEMBLE OF A PLAY: "JULIUS CAESAR"

BEST NEW WORK: "THE SNOW QUEEN" (Book and Lyrics: Roger Ricker/ Music: Pat D'Amato)

BEST SPECIAL EVENT: "THE SNOW QUEEN", "ROGER RICKER AND FRIENDS: WE ARE FAMILY"

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: JESSE CORBIN, "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER"; DOUGLAS LADNIER, "SWEENEY TODD"; CARL NATHANIEL SMITH, "FOREVER PLAID"

BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY: DAMON BONETTI, "JULIUS CAESAR"

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: MELISSA RAPALJE, "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER"; ANNA ROSENTHAL, "THE WIZARD OF OZ"; JENNY LEE STERN, "SWEENEY TODD"

BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY: JENNIE EISENHOWER, "JULIUS CAESAR"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: KELLY BRIGGS, "THE WIZARD OF OZ"; RONNIE KELLER, "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER"; ROGER RICKER, "THE WIZARD OF OZ"; NICHOLAS SAVERINE, "SWEENEY TODD"; BOB STINEMAN, "THE WIZARD OF OZ" 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: TAMARA DELLA ANDERSON, "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER"; JENNIE EISENHOWER, "SWEENEY TODD"; ANNA FERRIGNO, "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER"; RYANE NICOLE STUDIVANT, "BEEHIVE"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A PLAY: LISA VILLAMIL, "JULIUS CAESAR"

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: MARC ANDREW NUNEZ, "THE WIZARD OF OZ"; CHRISTIAN RYAN, "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER"

BEST MUSIC DIRECTION: BEN KAPILOW, "SWEENEY TODD"

BEST SOUND DESIGN: CARL PARK, "SWEENEY TODD"

BEST COSTUMES: RYN SMITH, "BEEHIVE"

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN: STEVEN SPERA, "SWEENEY TODD"

BEST SET DESIGN: MATTHEW MILLER, "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER"

BEST IN A LOCAL NON-AEA PRODUCTION: OWEN MANNION, "PIPPIN"

Monday, November 18, 2019

THE MEDIA THEATRE HAS 'JACK FROST' RETURNING FOR THE HOLIDAYS


It's time for the holidays which means "Jack Frost Saves Christmas" is on stage at The Media Theatre. This one hour upbeat and heartfelt show for youth of all ages is becoming an annual tradition at The Media Theatre. It's 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" is 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". It's on Sundays at Noon through December 22, and a December 29 performance at 11am. GET TICKETS

Springfield's Greyson Heneks who plays the title role in "Jack Frost Saves Christmas"

The production this year features Media Theatre student Greyson Heneks as Jack Frost. He is 9 years old and resides in Springfield, PA. He has performed in many Media Theater children’s productions such as Snow White, The Snow Queen and Five Little Pumpkins. Greyson also performed in Media Theater’s main stage production of The Wizard of Oz, and was recently seen as Bruce in Matilda: The Musical. When not performing, he enjoys dancing, telling jokes and art.

The show features audience participation, particularly when the entire audience is asked to assist Jack Frost. The Rompin' Reindeer dance is also always an audience favorite as several volunteers from the audience are asked to participate. 

Ben Kapilow music directs, with Roger Ricker directing the fast-paced show for children ages 3 and up. Carol Sorensen costume designs with vibrant colors. For tickets call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org



Saturday, November 16, 2019

FIRST LOOK PHOTOS: The Media Theatre's ELF: THE MUSICAL

The Media Theatre has "Elf: The Musical" this holiday season, through January 12.
Directed and choreographed by Christian Ryan, the production features Chicago's Josh Houghton as Buddy, the Elf in the musical based on the classic 2003 movie.
Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth.
With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity.
Songs include "Christmastown", "Never Fall In Love With An Elf", and "SparkleJollyTwinkleJingley". Ben Kapilow music directs the two-hour-and-fifteen minute show.
Photos are by Maura McConnell. Tickets are available by calling 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org








Wednesday, September 18, 2019

EXELON GENERATION SPONSORS COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE MEDIA THEATRE AND BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF CHESTER


Exelon Generation is pleased to announce its support of community theatrical arts by sponsoring the first-time ever collaboration between The Media Theatre and Chester Boys and Girls Club

“Choices,” is a provocative and introspective work that highlights the challenges and difficulties often faced by at-risk youth growing up in the city of Chester, PA. This original work was written and is being performed by six youth who recount their experiences and some of the choices they have made growing up in a historically underprivileged community.



“This is a performance about art, voice, crisis, diversity, triumph, humanism, and friendship," said The Media Theatre's Artistic Director Jesse Cline. "We are incredibly proud of the boys and girls who have dedicated their time and energy for the last several months to rehearse. We are also very appreciative of Exelon Generation for their generous support of this program.”

“Through sponsorships and support of community-based programs, we help people of all ages and backgrounds enjoy and experience the arts throughout our region,” said John Barnes, president, Exelon Power. “The arts unify our communities regardless of age, race
and ethnicity and help us express our values, and build bridges between cultures – we are extremely proud to sponsor this important collaboration and the performance of “Choices.”

“Choices” is a one-time only performance scheduled for Sunday, September 29 at 2:00pm at the Media Theatre.
Call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org for info.

About Exelon Generation
Exelon Generation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), is one of the largest, most efficient clean energy producers in the U.S., with a generating capacity of more than 32,000 megawatts.  Exelon Generation operates the largest U.S. fleet of carbon-free nuclear plants with more than 19,600 megawatts of capacity
from 22 reactors at 13 facilities in Illinois, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania.  Exelon Generation also operates a diverse mix of wind, solar, landfill gas, hydroelectric, natural gas and oil facilities in 19 states with more than 12,400 megawatts. Exelon Generation has an industry-leading safety record and is an active partner and economic engine in the communities it serves by providing jobs, charitable contributions and tax payments that help towns and regions grow. 
Follow Exelon Generation on Twitter @ExelonGen, view the Exelon
Generation YouTube channel, and visit http://www.exeloncorp.com/companies/exelon-generation.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

MEDIA THEATRE HAS ROGER RICKER 'WE ARE FAMILY' CONCERT SEPT. 14

Roger Ricker has spent just about half of his lifetime at The Media Theatre. "Started in 1994, when I was 30 years old," he reminisced.

"Being involved in almost every aspect of the company has kept me  feeling young," he said. "There is no monotony here. Each day is a new chapter. And, sometimes, it's a new show."

The show on Saturday night, September 14 at 7pm, will be the annual Roger Ricker & Friends fundraiser for The Media Theatre. "I like to refer to them as fun-raisers, because we just have a party," Ricker explained. "We have lots of surprises and special guests, The State Street Miracles, and very talented youth performers to round out the show."
The Media Theatre's Roger Ricker
with one of his best friends (Link, The Media Theatre Boxer).
This year's theme is "We Are Family" and, somewhat fittingly, will be the first performance on The Media Theatre's brand new stage. "It won't be complete yet," he said. "But the foundation will be there. Should be a very exciting night!"

The annual Volunteer of The Year Award will be presented to Havertown's Carol Sorensen. She donates her talent up to four times per season as The Media Theatre's Children's Series Costume Designer. "Carol is a treasure," Ricker stated. "Her costume design work is impeccable. She adds such dimension to our Children's Series. Tellingly, she does it out of the kindness of her heart because she loves the theatre and the children. That's definitely worth an Award!"

Special guests this year include Delaware County icon Susan Wefel, who will make her first appearance in the two-time Broadway World Award-winning Ricker concerts. She has a connection to The Media Theatre, due to emceeing the annual summer singing contest "The Vocalist", and by having appeared in several musicals directed by the theatre's Artistic Director Jesse Cline.

Philadelphia's Tamara Anderson will also join the party by singing two duets with Ricker and performing one of her favorites. She was recently seen in "Saturday Night Fever" at Media and will be in the upcoming "Matilda: The Musical" as Miss Phelps.

One of Media's most popular performers, Broadway and Cabaret entertainer Kelly Briggs, will once again join Ricker on stage. He will be seen in two of Media's upcoming productions, "Matilda" and "Elf".

Both of the young actresses sharing the role of "Matilda" (Sydney Amos and Zoe Nesbitt) will perform a song from that show--together, for the first time. 

The Youth Ensemble will join professional performers in several numbers, and The State Street Miracles will once again prove they are 'adults with abilities' as the intellectually challenged group will sing some of their trademark numbers.

"I'll be doing upbeat pop songs for the most part," Ricker said. "Probably some songs the new generation doesn't even know, but hey--let's introduce them to a few oldies, right? It's all for the future of The Media Theatre."

For tickets, at $25 each, visit mediatheatre.org or call 610-891-0100. Sponsorship packages are also available for the September 14 fundraiser. The accompanist for the evening is Resident Music Director Ben Kapilow.
Laura Thomas Dutton choreographs.

The theme, "We Are Family", speaks to a dedicated group of professionals, volunteers, families, and students who have a shared goal which is to strengthen The Media Theatre's mission of professional music theatre as it moves into the future. 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES 'ELF' CAST

Remember how that movie "Elf" starring Will Ferrell made you laugh? And how heartwarming it was? Well, "Elf" is also a Broadway musical, and it's coming to The Media Theatre this holiday season (November 13-January 12). Christian Ryan directs and choreographs. Ben Kapilow is Resident Music Director.


Elf The Musical is a must-see holiday treat . Based on the cherished 2003 New Line Cinema hit, Elf features songs by Tony Award nominees, Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (Disney’s Aladdin on BroadwayThe Wedding Singer), with a book by Tony Award winners, Thomas Meehan (AnnieThe ProducersHairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone).

Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth.
With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.
This modern-day holiday classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf. After all, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
At The Media Theatre, the role of Buddy The Elf will be played by Chicago's Josh Houghton. He resides in Chicago, but enjoys performing all over the States. This will be his Media debut.
One of Philadelphia's brightest stars, Krissy Fraelich, returns to Media's stage as Emily Hobbs. Another well known Philadelphia actor, Bob Stineman, plays her husband Walter. Media Theatre student Aidan Crane will share the role of their son Michael with Alex Hamel.
Kelly Briggs takes on the dual role of Santa and Mr. Greenway.
For show information, dates and times, etc., please visit mediatheatre.org. ELF is on November 13, 2019 to January 12, 2020.
The complete cast is:
Buddy- Josh Houghton*
Jovie- Megan McDevitt
Walter Hobbs - Bob Stineman*
Emily Hobbs - Krissy Fraelich*
Michael Hobbs - Aidan Crane/ Alex Hamel
Santa/ Greenway - Kelly Briggs*
Deb - Emily Derrick*
Store Manager - Ryane Nicole Studivant*
Fake Santa/ Ensemble - Roger Ricker*
The Ensemble, playing everything from Elves to Townspeople to Fake Santas, also consists of Alyssa Arcangeli, Dante Brattelli, Gabrielle Impriano, Hannah Mehl, Jacob Schrimpf, Angel Sigala, Andy Spinosi, and Grace Szczepkowski.
*Member of Actors Equity Association



Tuesday, August 20, 2019

NOMINATE YOUR FAVORITE TEACHER TO BE HONORED DURING MEDIA THEATRE'S 'MATILDA'

During the run of The Media Theatre's production of Broadway's hit show "Matilda: The Musical" which is based on Roald Dahl's book, a teacher from the region will be honored each Wednesday night. All educators will be able to attend the show at 7pm each Wednesday for just $25.

The musical's narrative centers on Matilda, a precocious girl with the gift of telekinesis, who loves reading, overcomes obstacles caused by her family and school, and helps her teacher to reclaim her life.



To nominate your favorite teacher from a Delaware County district, send in a 100 word or less testimonial, stating why your favorite teacher should become a Teacher Of The Week during the run of "Matilda: The Musical" (October 2-27).


Nominations will be accepted up through October 2. Please email submissions to Roger Ricker at rer764@gmail.com. Teachers will be honored each Wednesday before the 7pm show (Oct. 2, 9, 16, and 23).

Monday, August 12, 2019

THREE COMMUNITY LEADERS JOIN THE MEDIA THEATRE BOARD OF DIRECTORS





Talent Abounds On and Offstage 
as Community Leaders Join Media Theatre's Board

              
               The creative talent that abounds at the Media Theatre will soon be supported by the civic talents of three outstanding members of the Delaware County business community who are joining the theatre’s board of directors. Together, they bring a wealth of knowledge from the tourism, government and business sectors of Delaware County to this cultural asset in Media.

Three Delaware County civic leaders who have joined the board of directors
of the Media Theatre for the Performing Arts are (from left):
Michael Van Horn, executive assistant to the president of Exelon Power;
Steve Byrne, executive director of Visit Delco, Pa.;
and Kevin Madden, Delaware County councilman and businessman.
             The board welcomes Steve Byrne, executive director of Visit Delco, Pa., Kevin Madden, Delaware County councilman and businessman, and Michael Van Horn, executive assistant to the president of Exelon Power.

            All three men have spent time at the theater, both as audience members and benefactors. They recently visited with young participants in the theatre’s summer camp program.

            Byrne’s tourism and visitor’s bureau collaborates with the theatre staff to attract people to the Media community where audiences also patronize shops and restaurants.

            Madden, an elected official who serves the 560,000 residents of the county, was a celebrity judge during the 2019 Vocalist competition, and he is a proponent of economic development across the county.

            Van Horn is a benefactor of theatre programs, especially those involving youth, and is a graduate of Williamson College of the Trades where theatre founder Walter Strine attended school.

            “We are thrilled that these men, who are pillars in the local community, will lend their time and talent to our theatre board,” said Artistic Director Jesse Cline. “As the theatre celebrates its 25th anniversary, I look forward to hearing their ideas on how we can sustain our live theatre experience for the next 25 years. The staff here is grateful that these men are willing to volunteer their time and talent to support the creativity, educational experiences, cultural enrichment and economic development that takes place on and offstage at the theatre.”

            The Media Theatre, Delco’s only professional theatre, brings the excitement of live theater to local residents. Right now, patrons can stroll down memory lane with the staging of the musical, “Forever Plaid,” running through August 25.

            In October, people of ages will enjoy the precocious antics of “Matilda.”

            On Sept. 14, Roger Ricker will stage his annual fundraiser, “We are Family,” focusing on how the theatre is a family to young and old alike.

            The theatre, built in 1927 as a movie theatre, included dressing rooms with the thought that movies were a fad. The Media Theatre is the second largest employer in Media after Delaware County government.

            For more information about the Media Theatre, call 610-891-0100 or visit the website at www.mediatheatre.org.




             

Monday, August 5, 2019

VETERANS SUMMER CELEBRATION AT MEDIA THEATRE WITH 'FOREVER PLAID' AUG. 17

Area Veterans will have a special night at The Media Theatre on Saturday, August 17. The Veteran's Summer Celebration will begin with a reception at 6pm in the theatre's elegant Crystal Room, followed at 7pm by a performance of "Forever Plaid" on the historic stage. Tickets are just $30 each which includes the reception and show.

Ed Buffman, of the PA Veterans Museum, chats with guests at a previous Veteran's Night in The Media Theatre's Crystal Room.
Forever Plaid celebrates the delightfully goofy reincarnation of four male singers who were in a car crash on the way to their first big concert and now, miraculously, revived for a plaid-fabulous time. Singing in the closest of harmony, squabbling boyishly over the smallest intonations, the Plaids are guaranteed to smash with a series of well-loved songs and right-on patter that keep audiences laughing when they aren’t humming along to some of the great nostalgic pop hits of the ’50s. Songs include "Sixteen Tons", "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing", "Three Coins In The Fountain", and more.

The Pennsylvania Veterans Museum and The Media Theatre invite all area and regional Veterans to attend this Summer Celebration. 

The reception will feature complimentary wine, beer, and delicious pasta from Fellini Cafe of Media.

For tickets to the August 17 event at The Media Theatre, call 610-891-0100 and mention Veterans Summer Celebration. 


THE MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST OF 'ELEANOR, AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY'

A rarely produced musical that chronicles the story of the shy young aristocrat who was destined to become our First Lady, "Eleanor, An...