The Media Theatre has been delighting audiences for two decades with classic and contemporary musicals. It enters its 20th anniversary season with three Philadelphia regional professional premieres plus two classic productions.
Artistic Director Jesse Cline led the theatre to “Best Theatre Company of Philadelphia”, an award given by Broadway World in 2012. It also received honors for Best Music Direction, Best Set Design, and several other awards. Its 2013-14 season promises to continue bringing further accolades and honors for Delaware County’s only professional music theatre. Cline oversees the productions produced by Media Music Theatre Company, the not-for-profit arts organization housed at The Media Theatre.
The 2013-14 season opens with the first Philadelphia/ Wilmington professional production of 2005’s Tony winner, Monty Python’s “Spamalot”. The musical is based on the classic film Monty Python and The Holy Grail. Like the film, it follows a non-traditional and highly surreal strand of humor. Python fans appreciate the references to the movie as well as nods to other classic Python bits, while Broadway musical fans appreciate its homage and spoof of Andrew Lloyd Webber and music theatre in general. The story follows King Arthur and his quest for the Holy Grail, featuring humorous Knights of the Round Table and plenty of uniquely eccentric characters such as The Lady of the Lake who will be played in Media’s production by Tony nominated actress Ann Crumb. “Spamalot” will have audiences roaring with laughter September 25-November 3.
Speaking of Andrew Lloyd Webber, two of his beloved productions will be produced by The Media Theatre during its 20th Anniversary Season. The first up is his classic “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” November 20-January 5. In the show the Biblical story of Joseph and his jealous brothers is brought to musical life, with a score that includes the well-known songs “Close Every Door” and “Any Dream Will Do”. High-energy choreography is a highlight of this family show that is perfect for the holidays. The Media Theatre will produce the Mega-Mix version which features an edge-of-your-seat dance after the finale that combines each of the songs in a rousing routine that brings audiences to their feet.
January 29-February 16 brings “The Diary of Anne Frank” directed by Jesse Cline. This updated adaptation by Wendy Kesselman was a hit on Broadway in 1997, nominated for several Tony awards. The play focuses on The Frank Family as they hide from the Nazis in war-torn Amsterdam. In an attic for two years, they are joined by four others while teenager Anne Frank records the account in her diary. Dramatic and ultimately inspiring due to its message of hope amidst fear, this is one of the most beloved plays of all-time.
Classic songs of the 1960’s are the highlight February 26-March 30 in another regional professional premiere, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?”. Four ladies attend a bachelorette party and as it picks up steam they reveal details about their love lives and join in perfect harmony with well-known songs like “I Will Follow Him”, “Hey There Lonely Boy”, and the title tune.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony winning musical “Sunset Boulevard” will thrill audiences April 16-May 18. Based on the 1950 film, Time Magazine says the show is “Lloyd Webber’s most artfully constructed score.” The musical focuses on Norma Desmond, a silent movie star, who is forced to retire with the advent of the ‘talkies’. She looks for a return to the big screen when a young screenwriter comes into her life. Interestingly enough, The Media Theatre, built in 1927, opened with “The Jazz Singer”, which was the first ‘talkie’ motion picture.
The Media Theatre has been producing musicals overseen by Artistic Director Jesse Cline for two decades. The mission of the theatre company is to promote and nurture the imagination, diversity and joy unique to music theatre by the production of new and classic works.
For subscriptions to The Media Theatre’s 2013-14 Broadway Series season call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org