Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Thousands of theatergoers have enjoyed Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which is the worldwide hit based on the biblical tale of the Coat of Many Colors story from the Old Testament. The energetic and fun show plays at The Media Theatre November 20 through January 5 starring Emmy nominated actor Kyle Lowder (pictured) of “Days of Our Lives” and “Bold and the Beautiful”. 

Many people know several of the famous songs from the show including “Close Every Door” and “Any Dream Will Do”. Audiences also enjoy the role of the Pharoah, a comic highlight of the production in which an Elvis-style performance is given.

However, within the amount of nostalgia, familiarity and just plain old comfort which audiences have with the musical, there are tidbits of information which most who get a kick out of hearing “Benjamin’s Calypso” are unaware of.

For instance, even though Andrew Lloyd Webber achieved international fame with his take on another Biblically inspired –and, at the time, somewhat controversial—musical  Jesus Christ Superstar, he actually wrote Joseph first.

When Webber was 17 he received a note from a young law student who had heard of the composer’s talents: “Dearest Andrew, I’ve been told you’re looking for a ‘with it’ writer of lyrics for your songs, and as I have been writing songs for a while and particularly enjoy writing lyrics I wonder if you would consider it worth your while meeting me. Signed, Tim Rice” Thus, the collaborative efforts of Rice and Webber started. Rather simply, one might add, until the partnership created several of the most well known and popular musicals of all time.

The two met in 1965 and started working on a show (The Likes of Us) which has never been performed. Rice was really into working on ‘pop’ songs, but Webber wanted to pursue his vision of creating musical theatre. After a few heated discussions, the two were commissioned by the head of music at Colt Court, a preparatory school in London, to create a themed ‘religious’ concert. Webber and Rice put their heads together and came up with a 15 minute ‘pop cantata’ based on the story of Joseph and his brothers from the book of Genesis.

The cantata debuted in 1968, becoming a huge success, and was repeated several times that year, getting bigger and longer with each subsequent performance.  In the vein of the old phrase “You never know who is watching your show”, an executive from Decca happened upon the beginnings of Joseph and an album was cut in ’69. 

Of course, due to the success of a little school-commissioned cantata the partnership of Webber and Rice went on to create their next Bible hit, Jesus Christ Superstar. Due to its more controversial nature, and an album which preceded its stage presentation, Superstar took the world by storm as a musical adventure which was also a conversation piece during the hippie infused early ‘70’s.

So let’s get back to the history of Joseph, as we go full circle from its slight beginnings to a full-fledged production. Ironically, Jesus Christ Superstar found fame due to the little show Webber and Rice first premiered as a school project…but Joseph’s fame would not exist today without Superstar hitting number one with a bullet on the Billboard charts. The two, you see, would not exist without each other. (On another ironic note, in the USA Joseph was initially advertised as a ‘follow up’ to Superstar, even though this was a complete fallacy created by a marketing team.)

As Superstar was an immediate success, Joseph would undergo several transformations prior to finally being produced on London’s West End in ’73. The mind-bogglingly entertaining musical was, contrary to the belief of many younger generation theatre lovers, not produced on Broadway until 1982. Several revivals followed, but a large part of the show’s popularity might also be attributed to the popular performer Donny Osmond. He filmed a straight-to-video version in ’99 and once again Joseph found new life.

One could also congratulate Webber’s father, William, for Joseph’s life. Upon hearing the original 15 minute version, he felt so strongly about it that he pushed for a second performance at his own church, Westminster Central Hall. So from its conception, its birth, and its eventual maturity into the just over 90 minute production audiences are now familiar with (that does not include intermission or the big Mega-Mix medley which takes place after final bows in some productions including Media’s) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has had quite a history. It even spawned Jesus Christ Superstar, and two of the biggest names in the music theatre pantheon: Webber and Rice.

To see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at The Media Theatre starring Kyle Lowder, directed by Jesse Cline, and produced by Media Music Theatre Company, visit for tickets or call 610-891-0100. Go Go Go Joseph!

Monday, October 28, 2013


Not all witches are old and ugly! That's one of the famous lines from "The Wizard of OZ" which is now onstage at The Media Theatre (weekends until November 17).

Katie Davis, 15, is proof of the truth in the memorable quote. She plays Glinda, The Good Witch in the one hour condensed version of the musical, created specifically for young audiences but enjoyed by all ages due to the legendary score which catapults more mature viewers 'over the rainbow' to the land of Nostalgia.
She has enjoyed performing since an early age, first in television and film, appearing in TruTV’s Forensic Files and Discovery ID’s Stalked: Someone’s Watching. She has studied six styles of dance and developed an interest in music theater through her training. 

Katie is enjoying her second year in the theatre's New School, a conservatory style approach to music theatre education created by Jesse Cline, Artistic Director for Media Music Theatre Company (MMTC). The organization produces all Broadway Series and Youth Series productions at The Media Theatre.

Her appearances with MMTC include Dr. Dolittle, Three Little Pigs, Alice In Wonderland, and Pinkalicious The Musical. All well known titles, but none as iconic as Glinda, The Good Witch in the legendary "The Wizard of OZ" based on the MGM film.

She is a student at The Agnes Irwin School where she has appeared in productions of Pirates of Penzance and Annie, Jr. She is an award winner for Outstanding Achievement in a Musical for her work in Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center's Leader of the Pack. At NYC's famous Stagedoor she also appeared in 42nd Street and Side Show

Her hobbies include tennis, squash, and hiking in the lovely state of Maine. Perhaps the next time she is hiking she will find a hidden Munchkin Village where she will be proclaimed Glinda, The Good Witch!

To see Katie Davis in "The Wizard of OZ", call 610-891-0100 or visit The show is Saturday mornings at 11am and Sundays at Noon through November 17. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Two Delaware County super groups join forces to celebrate Special Olympics. The Media Theatre’s State Street Miracles and The Villanova Supernovas will sing together at the grand opening ceremonies of the Pennsylvania Special Olympics Fall Festival on Villanova’s campus Friday November 1.

In preparation, the two groups rehearsed together at The Media Theatre Monday October 21. The two groups will harmonize with the song “We Are The World” during the Fall Festival, a number which encapsulates the spirit of the event and the cooperative performance.

The Supernovas are Villanova’s longest running co-ed a cappella group, founded in 2000. The State Street Miracles are a performance troupe of 14 adults with intellectual disabilities who are ambassadors for Media Music Theatre Company (MMTC). MMTC is the professional music theatre organization which is housed at The Media Theatre.

The Special Olympics Fall Festival is November 1-2 on Villanova’s campus, featuring 1,000 athletes competing in soccer, volleyball, bocce, long distance running and roller skating. Several of the Miracles are also competitors in the Special Olympics, so the combined musical force of the two singing groups is the perfect blend. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Villanova student body hosting this major event.

“This is truly an inclusive experience which brings together these talented singers from Villanova with our State Street Miracles performers,” said Roger Ricker, the Miracles’ director. “It is so energizing to see them get to know each other and sing together.”

Jesse Cline, MMTC’s Artistic Director, added “It represents what we are all about, providing opportunities for everyone who has an interest in—and a passion for—music theatre.”

Students in the Supernovas who rehearsed with the Miracles were Megan Garbarino, Emily Morgan, Tommy Monks, Connor Supple, Maura Ricci, Vincent Ventura, Rachel Rorke, Eric Stoll, Connor Henry, Sophia Prince, David O’Day, Andrew Stock and Amber Shelton.

Members of the State Street Miracles are: John Abrams of Swarthmore, Patrick Clark of Springfield, Peter Crumb of Upper Providence, Maryjo D’Allesandro of Divine Providence Village, Springfield, Ted Harris of Rose Valley, Erin McGivney of Wayne, Brian Short, Jake Spencer, Kimiko Iizuka and Kim Watson, all of Middletown; Brittany Roberts of Edgmont; Brad Wallgren of Marple, Nakisha Edwards of Media, and Steve Snyder of an Elwyn residence in West Chester.

The State Street Miracles are available to perform at community functions. They are also available to open events with the national anthem or “God Bless America.” For information about the State Street Miracles, contact Trish Cofiell through the theater at 610-891-0100.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


"The Wizard of OZ" continues at The Media Theatre through November 17, with performances on Saturday mornings at 11am and Sundays at Noon. It's based on the 1939 film and includes all of the wonderful songs audiences know and love such as "Over the Rainbow" and "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead".

One of the young actresses in the production is Hanna Murphy, of Springfield. She is ten years old and started her studies at The Media Theatre by taking the Children's Acting Classes offered on Saturday mornings. From there, she began to perform in the youth series shows such as "Pinkalicious" and Disney's "101 Dalmatians". She is now a student of The New School, a conservatory-style music theatre education program created by Jesse Cline, Artistic Director for the theatre. 

Last summer, Hanna competed in "The Vocalist Junior" contest. Aside from singing, she also loves to play the piano and has had four years of lessons. She plays the bells in the St. Anastasia Band and is a fifth grade student at the school. Dancing is also something she enjoys, but she also stays fit as a soccer player, competing in the tri-state area.

The stage adaptation of "The Wizard of OZ" is one hour in length, condensed from the Broadway version of the musical. The Media Theatre is the first area theatrical organization to produce the shortened version created specifically for youth audiences and those who are young at heart. 

Hanna says she is very used to having munchkins around as the oldest sister to four boys (three of them are triplets)!

To see Hanna Murphy as one of the Munchkins and an Ozian in "The Wizard of OZ" at The Media Theatre, visit or call 610-891-0100.

You're off to see the Wizard!  

Thursday, October 17, 2013


It's impossible to meet the Munchkins in "The Wizard of OZ" without a Mayor. The Mayor of Munchkin Land is the focal point of the entire 10 minute song stew of the stage version in which we learn who the Munchkins are, why the Wicked Witch wants the ruby red slippers and where to go to find the great Wizard. Without the Mayor, the Munchkins would seem a disorganized bunch, indeed.
In The Media Theatre's one-act, one-hour long regional premiere of a condensed version of "The Wizard of OZ" Vicky Heppard portrays The Mayor. The show includes all of the wonderful songs millions of human Ozians know and love such as "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead" and "Over The Rainbow". It's based on MGM's iconic 1939 film and plays Saturday mornings at 11am plus Sunday mornings at Noon through November 17. (One weekday matinee at 9:45am remains on October 25).

Vicky Heppard was seen previously on The Media Theatre stage as the title role in "Pinkalicious, the Musical", as well as in supporting roles in "Alice In Wonderland" and Disney's "101 Dalmatians". She is currently a second year student in the theatre's New School, a conservatory style music theater education program. This past summer, she was also a Finalist in the "Vocalist Junior" vocal competition.

She has had six years of dance classes and was involved with the Delco "Let There Be Rock!" School, having been the lead singer in her own rock band for a time. She has performed the National Anthem for sports events and is in Ridley Middle School's select chorus, as well as its flag squad.

An animal advocate, she is active with a local rescue group and has assisted with the care of foster dogs and cats her family takes in. Currently, she has four dogs and one cat. She is one busy Mayor!

To see Vicky Heppard and the rest of "The Wizard of OZ"'s talented cast, call The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


The laughter continues at The Media Theatre through November 3 with Monty Python's "Spamalot" musical. The regional premiere boasts tons of laughs, energetic dancing, and professional actors from New York City and Philadelphia.
               Picture: Jay Poff and Harrison Post
Scott Langdon, previously seen on Media's stage in last spring's "Mame" portrays King Arthur, who leads his eccentric Knights of the Round Table on a quest to find the Holy Grail. 

Broadway's Tony nominated actress Ann Crumb is The Lady of the Lake, who lets the entire world know how she feels during "Diva's Lament".

Others in the cast include Tim Haney, Will Harrell, Patrick Ludt, Jay Poff, and Harrison Post as the flamboyant Prince Herbert.

The show is based on the classic film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and is an irreverent look at the Arthurian legend, Broadway musicals, and Las Vegas--among other things.

For tickets to laugh-a-lot with "Spamalot", call The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit All Broadway Series productions at Media Theatre are produced by Media Music Theatre Company (Jesse Cline, Artistic Director).

Monday, October 14, 2013


The Media Music Theatre Company, the professional music theatre organization housed at The Media Theatre, has a new man in charge of its orchestra for the upcoming musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. Scott Anthony, who began his piano studies at the tender age of four, will become the theatre’s Music Director.
The Villanova resident, who is very familiar with the Philadelphia region having lived previously in Center City, joined the American Boy Choir when he was ten years old. Being a member of the prestigious Chorale allowed him to tour the US and Canada. He continued piano and organ lessons through high school and was later accepted to Peabody Conservatory of John Hopkins University in Baltimore.  While at Peabody, he studied organ with Donald Sutherland although to better showcase his technical facility he began to focus purely on piano.

In 2006, he received his BM in Piano Performance from Catholic University, studying with Emmy-winning artist Marilyn Neeley. He has also worked under the tutelage of Bruce Murray at the Brevard Music Festival and recently studied with Harvey Weeden closer to home at Temple University, where he received his Masters in Piano Performance. Esteemed artists such as John O’ Conor, Julian Martin and Ivo Kaltchev are a few names Anthony has had the pleasure of working with. He has also been coached in the art of harpsichord with Joyce Lindorff at Temple.

Scott Anthony is no stranger to The Media Music Theatre Company, having been a part of its orchestra pits during the run of “Wings” as second keyboard and also enjoying the same position with its current production of the hit “Spamalot”.

“I am thrilled to take the Music Director position,” Scott Anthony said. “I feel that the work being done here at The Media Theatre is set apart by the excellence of its productions. I have not seen the same quality at some other houses I have attended. Working with Artistic Director Jesse Cline and the prestigious names he brings to the venue will be exciting during “Joseph” and moving forward.”

One of the prestigious names Scott Anthony will be working with is Emmy nominated actor Kyle Lowder who takes the title role in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” November 20 through January 5. Lowder portrayed principle roles in both “Bold and the Beautiful” and “Days of Our Lives”, for which he received his Emmy nomination.  He just finished a run of the musical “Rock of Ages” in Las Vegas as Stacee Jaxx.

The Media Music Theatre Company’s New School students will also have the pleasure of working with Scott Anthony during their weekly classes in the conservatory-style music theatre education program created by Cline. The students are a part of the “Joseph” Youth Ensemble.

For tickets to “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” call 610-891-0100 or visit

The theatre will be working closely with Scott Anthony who will give private piano lessons for those who have an interest in studying with him.  If interested, please email


Friday, October 11, 2013


A 7th grade student at Springton Lake Middle School, Andrew Moretti is no stranger to the Media Theatre stage. A few years back, he had his debut there in "Willy Wonka, Jr" and was also seen in "Sleeping Beauty" and other youth series productions.

Now, he returns to the award-winning music theatre company in one of the most legendary roles of all time. He is only 13 years old, but gets to portray the fun role of The Cowardly Lion in the classic "The Wizard of OZ".

This special one hour version of the iconic musical which was made famous by Judy Garland and others is having its regional debut at The Media Theatre now through November 17. The show, featuring all of the familiar songs such as "If I Were King of The Forest" and "Over The Rainbow", has performances on Saturdays at 11am as well as Sundays at Noon.

Andrew Moretti says "I am happiest when I am on the stage and having a good time!" The Cowardly Lion allows him to do just that. 

He is also an avid sports fan and loves to skateboard and surf, which he mustered up enough courage to conquer this past summer. Perhaps someday you will see a Lion roaring on the waves at a beach near you! That's what happens when Courage becomes a big part of your daily routine.

To see Andrew Moretti as The Lion in "The Wizard of OZ" at The Media Theatre, visit for tickets or call 610-891-0100. It's the perfect treat for ages 4 and up. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


The Media Music Theatre Company and Jesse Cline, Artistic Director, have an amazing high-energy cast lined up for the region's holiday treat "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". The professional music theatre organization (MMTC) is the producing arm of the Broadway Series at The Media Theatre.

Cline and his team celebrate the performing arts venue's 20th Anniversary Season with Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical November 20, 2013 through January 5, 2014.

"During the holiday season, it is our goal to provide quality entertainment which enlightens and inspires," Cline said. "Family friendly musicals have been the highlight of our season during this time of year for the past two decades. This year, we reunite audiences with a new interpretation of Webber's biblically-based musical while keeping the show's integrity intact."

Emmy nominated daytime television star Kyle Lowder will add his vocal prowess and charisma in the lead role of Joseph, the brother who is mistreated due to jealousy but who gains prestige and wealth due to his never-ending faith and self-control. Lowder recently finished a run of the hit musical "Rock of Ages" in Las Vegas and is a classically trained musician. He was seen by millions of television viewers with principle roles in the hit shows "Days of Our Lives" and "The Bold and the Beautiful".

The Narrator in Webber's smash hit show is always an audience favorite and in this production one of Delaware County's own premier talents will take on the 'story-telling through singing' dynamic of the production. Lauren Cupples, the first "Delco Idol" winner eight years ago, will be The Narrator for director Cline. She worked with him last season as Emma in "Dr. Dolittle" and was seen in "Annie" and "The Sound of Music" in Media. She has charmed audiences at Bristol Riverside Theatre as well.

The dual role of father Jacob and the wealthy Potiphar will be played by Philadelphia actor P. Brendan Mulvey, who was seen at Media previously in "Show Boat" and "Titanic". 

The Brothers, who take on much of the show's high-stepping breathtaking choreography, are Will Connell, Dann Dunn, JP Dunphy, Corey John Hafner, Terrance Hart, Colin McAdoo, Samuel Nagel, Paris Nix, Jay Poff and two aspiring actors from Delaware County: Ridley's Aaron Atkinson and this summer's "Vocalist" contest winner Austy Hicks.

Hicks is a 16-year-old who attends Archbishop Carroll High School. Atkinson is finishing up his studies at The American Music and Dramatic Academy in New York. "The two young men represent some of the finest talent in our county and region," Cline said. "This production gives them an opportunity to highlight what it is they are capable of while being home for the holidays, working with an award-winning professional music theatre company."

The female ensemble is made up of Rachel Beiswenger, Nicole Calabrese, Taylor Elise Rector, and Megan Rucidlo.

For tickets to MMTC's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at The Media Theatre, which plays November 20, 2013 to January 5, 2014, call 610-891-0100 or visit Group rates available!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


From Cub Scouts to Monkeys. At least in the case of young actor Josh Atkinson, who is a 9 year old student at Sabold Elementary School in the Springfield School District. The fourth grader was introduced to acting at a scouts meeting when he was invited to join a local theatre group. 

Now, he is Nikko, the main flying monkey in The Media Theatre's production of "The Wizard of OZ". The hour long musical based on the classic film is Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon now through November 17.

Josh realized he enjoyed performing and was in St. Francis Players' production of "Seussical, The Musical". From there, he joined a production of Disney's "101 Dalmatians" with Catholic Community Choir. 

He started out at The Media Theatre in the 2013 summer camp during which he was honored with the Outstanding Achievement in Acting Award. From Camp Media Theatre, he moved on to being a part of the professional music theatre company's New School, which meets every week with lessons in acting, voice, music theory, and dance. 

Having loved music since he was a tot, Josh also plays the violin in Sabold Elementary's orchestra, has some piano lessons under his belt and knows a bit about playing drums. 

"The Wizard of OZ" is his first show at The Media Theatre. The Cub Scout hopes to enjoy more time on stage in the future, unless the Wicked Witch foils his plans!

To see "The Wizard of OZ" at The Media Theatre now through November 17, call 610-891-0100 or visit It's a great time for ages 4 and up and features all of the wonderful songs from the movie, including the legendary "Over the Rainbow".

Saturday, October 5, 2013


A production of the classic musical "The Wizard of OZ" must have an Auntie Em that audiences care for and find a bit amusing. The iconic role is a bit headstrong and is certainly not afraid to stand up against the rude Miss Gulch when Toto is in danger.

The Media Theatre found just that person in Amber Duncan, 14, of Wallingford. In the youth version of the show based on the legendary 1939 cinematic treasure, Duncan portrays Auntie Em with all of the bravura a teenager is able to muster.
Amber has been involved with the theatre as both student of the New School (4 years) and performer since 2008. Since the age of 9, she has been seen in more than 22 shows in the Youth Series, Teen Camp and played the role of Louisa in the theatre’s Broadway series production of The Sound of Music. Highlights of Amber’s performances at the theatre include playing Mother Wolf in Jungle Book, the Magic Mirror in Snow White, JIP in Dr. Dolittle, Annas in Jesus Christ Superstar, and as one of the Over the Moon Girls in the youth production of Rent.

In addition to her play appearances at the Media Theatre, Amber performed in the 2013 Roger Ricker Concert and the Media Theatre Glee Experience. In 2011 Amber won the Camp Media Theatre Growth Award for Acting and Theatrical Skills.

A versatile actress, singer and dancer, Amber played the principal role of Becky earlier this year in Prom Moms, an improv comedy video produced by the People’s Improv Theatre of New York City. A former student at the St. John Chrysostom School in Wallingford, Amber was a regular in the school’s annual productions. She played leads in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. and School House Rock Live Jr., also appearing in the 2011 Catholic Diocese Concert of Excellence at the Kimmel Center.

Amber’s interests include the visual arts, as well as playing guitar. Aside from her interests in the arts, she loves science. No word yet on whether she has found out what exactly causes a Kansas cyclone, but audiences may see her deal with one from now through November 17! "The Wizard of OZ" plays Saturday mornings at 11am and Sundays at Noon.

To get swept away, call 610-891-0100 or visit

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


The Media Theatre's one-act production based on the iconic musical "The Wizard of OZ" features all of the legendary songs from the 1939 film beloved by millions of viewers, both young and old. The cast is mostly made up of young aspiring actors, all students from The Media Theatre's New School and its acting classes. From ages 5 to 15, the youth performers follow The Yellow Brick Road.

But they are not alone in their journey on stage. The young actors are joined by two adult actors in the musical.

One of those 'more mature' actors is a lifelong resident of Delaware County, Mr. Jim Conte. He was seen this past summer on Media Theatre's stage in the comic musical "Nunsense Jamboree" and in the world premiere play "Death on the 16th Fairway". Now, he adds his charm to "The Wizard of OZ" as the title character-the man behind the curtain-and Professor Marvel.

Jim graduated from Penncrest High School, and fondly remembers going to the movies at the Media Theatre as a teenager.

Before pursuing his passion for performing full time, he was privileged to serve as a music educator in three southeastern Pennsylvania public school districts (Tredyffrin-Easttown, Upper Darby, Rose Tree Media), where he directed award winning bands, orchestras, choirs, taught music classes, directed/choreographed musical theatre productions and coached track. 

Since retirement he has enjoyed singing in the Festival Chorus with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops in their Holiday Concerts; being a Supernumerary in "Aida" and  "Turandot" with the Opera Company of Philadelphia; and being a background character in several films, including  the Oscar winning "Silver Linings Playbook" as well as "Welcome to The Bates Motel".

Now enjoying his “encore career” as a character actor, he played Cap’n Andy in "Show Boat" at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman, NJ where he also performed in "Noises Off" and "Over the River and Through The Woods". He also tackled eight different roles in "Lucky Stiff" at the Centre Theater of Montgomery County and was seen in "Kiss Me Kate" with the Brandywiners at Longwood Gardens. His last time following the Yellow Brick Road was at the New Candlelight Theatre as Professor Marvel and OZ himself.

Jim has words of wisdom for all ages who may see him onstage in "The Wizard of OZ". "It's never too late to follow your dreams!" he said.

Jim Conte will follow his dreams and audiences may follow the Yellow Brick Road in "The Wizard of OZ" Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon now through November 17. It's at The Media Theatre and is perfect for ages 4 and up. Call 610-891-0100 or visit