Tuesday, April 29, 2014

MEDIA THEATRE'S CLINE AND WARD RECEIVE AWARD FROM VETERAN'S MUSEUM

Jesse Cline and Patrick Ward, the Artistic Director and Executive Director of The Media Theatre, received a special acknowledgement during Veteran’s Night for the current production of “Sunset Boulevard”. 

The Outstanding Partnership Award was presented to them by Ed Buffman of The Pennsylvania Veterans Museum, honoring their 12 years of working together with Veteran’s Night presentations at the theatre during which veterans receive a special reception and are recognized for their great service to the country.
Pictured: Media Theatre Artistic Director Jesse Cline and Executive Director Patrick Ward receive a special honor from the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum from Museum Co-Chair Ed Buffman
In accepting the special plaque which will be placed in the theatre’s lobby, Patrick Ward said, “Actually it is we who feel honored to have a partnership with the veterans. Your presence here is a special thing which we look forward to.”

At each Veteran’s Night one combat veteran is placed in the spotlight for his or her service prior to the evening’s musical production. The tradition has been taking place for the past 12 years several times per year during The Media Theatre’s Broadway Series.

 “During our production of “South Pacific” in 2001 it was Patrick and I who had an idea for a special museum in our Crystal Room upstairs which would salute the veterans,” Cline said. “That was the beginning of what is now the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum down the street here in Media. In working with Mayor Bob McMahon, Ed Buffman, and Bud Hendrick we were able to accomplish something special.”

Ed Buffman, in presenting the plaque, said “The veterans must remember that Jesse Cline and Patrick Ward never forgot us. They always remember the veterans.”

The next Veterans Night at The Media Theatre will take place during the run of the comedy musical “The Addams Family”. Veterans and their families are given a special price for a reception and show on a Saturday night when one of the service men or women will be recognized for their service to the country.


“Sunset Boulevard”, the current musical, plays through May 18. For tickets or information call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SUNSET BOULEVARD RECEIVES RAVE REVIEWS FROM PHILLY CRITICS

The current production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Sunset Boulevard", directed by Jesse Cline and featuring Tony nominee Ann Crumb as Norma Desmond, is receiving critical acclaim from Philadelphia theatre critics.

The show, based on Billy Wilder's classic film noir, is all about a silent screen star desperate for a return to film glory. She believes a young screenwriter, Joe Gillis (Sean Thompson) is her ticket to recapturing her glory days. The score includes several show-stopping numbers including Norma's "With One Look" and "It's As If We Never Said Goodbye".



Neal Zoren, a theatre critic in the Philadelphia region who travels to Broadway and abroad frequently to London's West End, said "Ann Crumb's Norma Desmond is one of the finest and most exhilarating performances you will ever see--It's a work of art."
Of Cline's direction, he says the production highlight's Cline's "deftness as a director of the complex". 
You may read his entire review here: READ NEAL ZOREN'S REVIEW HERE

Dante Bevilacqua, of TICKET Magazine, says the show is a "masterstroke of artistic creativity". READ TICKET REVIEW HERE

Pati Buehler, critic for Broadway World Philadelphia, stated that "Crumb attacks the stage with attention-grabbing authority" and praises the director, orchestra, and set design as well. READ BROADWAY WORLD REVIEW HERE


Christina Perryman, of the DelcoNewsNetwork, says "Ann Crumb is riveting." She goes onto say that "Sean Thompson is charismatic as Joe". READ DELCONEWS REVIEW HERE


Henrik Eger, freelance theatre critic, posted his review here: READ ON PHINDIE

SUNSET BOULEVARD is at The Media Theatre through May 18. Call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org 


Monday, April 21, 2014

MEDIA THEATRE RECEIVES PROCLAMATION FROM US SENATE FOR 20TH ANNIVERSARY

The Media Theatre is currently celebrating its 20th Anniversary Season.

After receiving congratulations from the Pennsylvania State Senate, we now have received an official proclamation from the US SENATE, signed by Senator Pat Toomey.

We are very appreciative of all of the support!


The proclamation reads:
                                       
"Whereas, The Media Theatre for the Performing Arts celebrated its twentieth anniversary at its annual gala on February 22, 2014; and,

Whereas, The theatre was constructed in 1927 by Samuel Dembow as Media's third and largest movie theatre. It served for nearly 75 years as a movie palace displaying the magic of motion pictures to generations of Media residents. The theatre was also the site for vaudeville shows, Media High School graduations and community events; and,

Whereas, Walter Strine, Sr. purchased the theatre and converted it into the Media Theatre for the Performing Arts in 1994 to honor his wife, Elizabeth, and her lifelong love of music; and,

Whereas, in 2000 the Society of the Performing Arts of the Media Theatre, a non-profit organization, took over management of the theatre and established the Media Theatre we know today; and,

Whereas, the mission of the Media Theatre 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 and understanding by them that it is indigenous to their cultural heritage. Lauded as the only professional theatre in Delaware County, the Media Theatre for the Performing Arts produces five Broadway musicals and a children's series each year, and it is home to the Media Music Theatre Company; and,

Whereas, The Media Theatre for the Performing Arts was the recipient of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce's 2006 Award for Economic and Community Development, several Readers Poll Awards for "Best Live Theatre", various Barrymore Award Nominations and a 2004 Barrymore Award for "The Wild Party"; and,

Now, therefore, Senator Pat Toomey proudly recognizes The Media Theatre for the Performing Arts on the occasion of its twentieth anniversary. Congratulations and Best Wishes.

Signed by Pat Toomey, U.S. Senator

Saturday, April 19, 2014

FIRST LOOK...PICS FROM MEDIA THEATRE'S 'SUNSET BOULEVARD'

The Media Theatre's production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's take on "Sunset Boulevard", the classic 1950 film noir, is on now through May 18. 
Broadway's Tony nominee Ann Crumb (nominated for "Anna Karenina") portrays Norma Desmond, the former silent film star desperate for a return to motion picture glory. She has also been seen on The Great White Way in "Aspects of Love", "Chess", "Les Miserables", and more.

First three shots below taken by Mark Jordan; fourth shot pre-production by Maura McConnell. 
ANN CRUMB as NORMA DESMOND

Ann Crumb with Sean Thompson as Joe 
Philadelphia's Sean Thompson, seen on The Media Theatre stage in "Forever Plaid", "Oliver!" and "Dr. Dolittle", plays Joe Gillis, a young screenwriter drawn into Norma's web of manipulation.

The show is directed by Jesse Cline, winner of 2013's Broadway World Award for Best Director of a Musical in Philadelphia for "Mame".
For tickets call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

WHO'S WHO IN MEDIA'S SUNSET BOULEVARD: SEAN THOMPSON

This is the second in our special Who’s Who in The Media Theatre’s production of Sunset Boulevard series. With each of these features, we meet a cast member who assists director Jesse Cline in bringing this Tony winning musical to the stage. It is a Philadelphia professional premiere starring Tony nominee Ann Crumb as Norma Desmond, the silent screen star aching for a return to motion picture glory. It’s based on Billy Wilder’s legendary cinematic classic with a memorable score from Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Sean Thompson plays the role of Joe Gillis. Sean has been seen several times on The Media Theatre stage. Last season he was one of the four young men in the popular production “Forever Plaid” and was also seen in “Dr. Dolittle”.

Sean Thompson who portrays the role of Joe Gillis 


All in all, Thompson has done nearly 40 professional productions in regional theatres in Pennsylvania, New York, Kansas, Missouri, California, and the Virginia/ DC area. He has appeared as Lancelot in Camelot, Curly in Oklahoma, Willy in I Married An Angel, and Cinderella’s Prince in Into The Woods. He has appeared at the Tony winning Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA where he also performed in Sunset Boulevard as Artie Green.

In The Media Theatre’s production, Thompson is playing the leading role of Joe Gillis. “He’s the struggling screenwriter whom Norma Desmond draws close into her own world,” he explained. “He began to crave money after a bit of success so his creativity—and hence his artistry and career—began to suffer. So the offer Norma gives him is initially appealing.”

Thompson enjoys playing the role made famous by William Holden in the 1950 film and sees a similarity between himself and Joe Gillis. “I, like Joe, attempt to pay my bills and get on in life by practicing my art as a career,” he said. “That’s a challenging task!”

Of Webber’s take on the film noir classic, he says, “The score was clearly written with the music of old Hollywood movies in mind, so it’s grand, sweeping, and quite majestic. Webber is a master at writing his scores specifically for the world of the show. One thinks of the soaring, operatic quality of The Phantom of The Opera.”

Time Magazine actually refers to Webber’s Sunset Boulevard work as his ‘most artfully constructed score’. “It’s a perfect story for a musical,” Thompson said. “The psyches are deep, the emotions are high, and the relationships themselves seem to sing.”

As the world of cinema has transformed itself over the years, the same has been happening with the world of theatre. Thompson’s take on it is that “Musical theatre moved away from the standard 'book' of shows like Oklahoma! and, say, Cabaret.  It was morphed into a sung-through, operetta look-a-like in the 80s and 90s with shows like Miss Saigon and The Phantom of the Opera.  We need to keep in mind that strong books are not only nice perks to a show, they are essential. As the masterful Stephen Sondheim teaches, the music must serve the story.  The Broadway musical version of the Irish movie Once has achieved it: a beautiful, touching score accompanying a touching, well-written, stunning book.”

“This is why Sunset Boulevard works as a musical,” he said. “It’s got a strong book based on the film with each song moving the story forward as the narrative flows to its dramatic climax as Norma gets ‘ready for her close up’.”

If he had been a silent film star, Thompson explains that he would have connected with his audiences using his physical characteristics, of course. “It would have been with my EYES! And with my facial hair, I think,” he said. “Facial hair on a man says a lot about his role. Is he a sinister villain with a thin, dark goatee? Or a young hopeful romantic whose face is bright and clean-shaven?”

Thompson sums it up by saying “Sunset Boulevard is a unique story.  It's a backstage look at the medium we admire so much: the movies.
 It's about what can happen when fame fades. But it’s fun to behold, as it has fantastic music and dynamic performers whose portrayals are guaranteed to stick in an audience's mind for some time to come.”


The show is produced by Media Music Theatre Company, the non-profit professional music theatre organization which produces the Broadway Series of musicals each season at The Media Theatre. It received Broadway World’s “Best Theatre Company of Philadelphia” honor in 2012 and 2013.

For tickets to Sunset Boulevard, which runs April 16-May 18, visit mediatheatre.org or call 610-891-0100.







Thursday, April 3, 2014

MEDIA THEATRE ASSISTS IN LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL MOCK CRASH EVENTS

For the past several years, The Media Theatre has been a part of Mock Crash events at local high schools. These events provide insight for students into the dangers of driving under the influence and texting while driving among other issues we tend to bring upon ourselves.

The Media Theatre provides the make-up for the students involved in the events, as well as two or three adult actors for each Mock Crash. The actors portray grieving family members or accident victims.
The Media Theatre provides make-up, make-up artists, and volunteer actors who portray grieving family members in local Mock Crash events at area high schools. Pictured, back row, are the theatre's Tim Haney (make-up artist) and the two actresses Stacey Loehrs and Michell DeLuca. Stacey's son is involved at The Media Theatre and Michell is the costume designer for its Children's Series. They are pictured here with Strath Haven High School students. 

The Delaware County Daily Times, in an article published April 3, 2014, has more information regarding the events organized by Main Line Health and sponsored by State Farm Insurance. READ DAILY TIMES ARTICLE HERE

The Media Theatre's website is mediatheatre.org

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Media Theatre Recognized By Pennsylvania State Senate for 20 Years of Professional Music Theatre

The Pennsylvania State Senate, in a proclamation from Senator Dominic Pileggi and Senator Edwin B. Erickson, recognized The Media Theatre for the momentous occasion of its twentieth anniversary in producing professional Broadway musicals.


The proclamation reads, in part, "The Senate of Pennsylvania takes great pride in recognizing those organizations which, through adherence to the highest standards of service, contribute in a meaningful way toward a better and more productive society."

It goes on to mention a brief history of The Media Theatre, followed by "Lauded as the only professional theatre in Delaware County, The Media Theatre for the Performing Arts produces five Broadway Series musicals and a children's series each year, and it is home to The Media Music Theatre Company."

A mention is given to the theatre's School of The Theatre, its outreach programs to the community, and its economic impact on the region. 

Further, a wish is given for future success from The Pennsylvania State Senate.

Artistic Director Jesse Cline and Executive Director Patrick Ward said in a joint statement that "We are extremely honored to receive this proclamation and recognition."

The Media Theatre is becoming even more nationally recognized as of the past few months, with 
several actors who have appeared on its stage appearing on Broadway including Andy Karl as the lead in "Rocky: The Musical" and Jeremy Greenbaum as Davey in "Newsies", along with its own students Beada and Dan Briglia. Beada recently performed in Broadway's "A Christmas Story" while her brother Dan was traveling the East Coast in "The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular". 

A production first produced professionally at The Media Theatre, Josh Rivedal's one-man show "The Gospel According to Josh", will be staged off-Broadway this spring at The Player's Theatre in Manhattan. Josh also appeared in several Media Theatre productions.

Along with these actors, Audra McLaughlin of Glenolden who was one of The Media Theatre's former "Delco Idol" contestants--in the summer singing contest now titled "The Vocalist"--is doing very well on NBC's Emmy winning vocal competition "The Voice". 

The current production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Sunset Boulevard" starring Tony nominee Ann Crumb is playing April 16-May 18. For tickets or information call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org


Click on the image below to read the Senate's proclamation. 






MEDIA THEATRE HAS BROADWAY PERFORMERS HIGHLIGHTING ANNUAL BENEFIT MARCH 3

The Media Theatre is hosting a special evening  Saturday March 3  entitled “There’s No Place Like Home”, with a one-night-only concert per...