MEDIA THEATRE NEWS---We are a professional music theatre company located at The Media Theatre in Media, Pa., only 20 minutes southwest of Center City Philly.
One of Philadelphia's Most Popular Theatres.
WINNER OF BROADWAY WORLD'S 'BEST THEATRE COMPANY OF PHILADELPHIA' (2012, 2013, 2014)
All Broadway Series Productions, Youth Programs, Educational Programs, and Summer Camps are produced by The Media Music Theatre Company (Artistic Director Jesse Cline)
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
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
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 byMedia
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 toSunset
Boulevard, which runs April 16-May 18, visit mediatheatre.org or call
The hit show "A Christmas Story: The Musical" is at The Media Theatre November 9 to January 8. It's suitable for all ages and makes a great outing for families during the holiday season.
Based on the classic film which has gained popularity with each showing on television each holiday season, the musical has a book by Joseph Robinette with music and lyrics written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Songs include "Ralphie To The Rescue", "Sticky Situation", "It All Comes Down To Christmas", and "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid!"
The story takes place in Indiana in the 1940's focusing on Ralphie, the boy who wants a Red Ryder BB Gun. He eventually learns that the holidays are not about what you have but who you have around you to share them with. There is a humorous sub-plot featuring Ralphie's father, referred to as The Old Man, who wins a leg lamp.
It was nominated for three Tony Awards for its 2012 production at the Lunt-Fon…
The Media Theatre has the legendary musical
“West Side Story” April 19 through June 11. With a book by Arthur Laurents and
a sweeping score from Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, the musical is
often referred to as one of the all-time greats in the Broadway canon.
“West Side Story” transports Shakespeare’s
Romeo and Juliet to New York City in the 1950’s. The story takes place on the west side of Manhattan at a time when many Puerto Ricans moved to
NYC. Two young lovers, Tony and Maria, find themselves in the middle of street
gangs at war—the Jets and the Sharks. The musical captures the essence of
struggling to survive amidst violence and prejudice which is one the main
reasons it has remained relevant to this day after premiering on Broadway in
1957. “West Side Story” highlights youthful
performers with energetic choreography and songs such as “Tonight”, “Maria”, “Somewhere”,
and “America”. At The Media Theatre, “West Side Story” is
directed and choreographed by Dann Dunn, with …
The Media Theatre has the Philadelphia region's professional premiere of Jason Robert Brown's Tony winning musical "The Bridges of Madison County" this fall. The show, which received Tony Awards in 2014 for Best Score and Best Orchestrations, plays September 14 to October 23.
Millions of film goers have seen the movie starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, although the writers of the musical state it is based on the best-selling novel. The romance focuses on a beautiful Italian woman who married an American soldier to get out of Italy during the war. When her family attends the 1965 State Fair in Iowa, she meets a handsome National Geographic photographer who alters her life dramatically in four days. It's a musical which captures the yearning of the human heart and the expanse of America's heartland as we travel roads we often dare not go, open doors we often refuse to notice, and cross over bridges which leave us breathless.