Sunday, February 22, 2015

MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES 2015-16 SEASON

Mama Rose, Billy Elliot, Atticus Finch, Eddie Birdlace, and John Adams. Five names, each encapsulating what The Media Theatre's 2015-16 season promises--people who tried their hardest to change the world, to leave an indelible impression so that their lives and the lives touched by their presence and innovation would recognize excellence, courage, and passion.

Each of these are represented well in various ways with the line-up promised by The Media Theatre from September 2015 to May 2016.

"Gypsy" opens the season September 23 to November 1. With Philadelphia's own Broadway actress Kristine Fraelich as Mama Rose, the ultimate aggressive stage mother, this powerful story of a mother and her daughters presents a dark side of show business wrapped in a Jule Styne score which contains some of the most iconic show tunes of all time. Stephen Sondheim's lyrics create an irony within the tune-filled melodies of "Let Me Entertain You", "You'll Never Get Away From Me", "Some People", and the legendary "Everything's Coming Up Roses". Whatever her intentions, Mama Rose certainly leaves an impression as she pushes her daughters toward the pinnacle of stardom. 


For the holidays, The Media Theatre has the Philadelphia regional professional premiere of Broadway's inspiring hit "Billy Elliot: The Musical". Based on the 2000 film, it follows the story of young Billy who hangs up his boxing gloves to become a ballet dancer. TIME magazine called it 'Best Musical of the Decade' as it inspires audiences with the story of the young lad who, against all odds within the confines of an English mining town which finds itself in the midst of a strike, finds his courage to make his dreams come true. Elton John's score features the memorable song "Electricity" setting the tone for a musical which features astounding choreography. Winner of 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, "Billy Elliot" has a large youth cast. It plays during the Thanksgiving, Hannukah, and Christmas season November 18 
to January 3.


The classic play "To Kill A Mockingbird" is revived January 27 to February 14, 2016. Keeping with the now annual tradition of producing one play per season, the show will be a part of the region's Black History Month. The show, set during the Great Depression, highlights the powerful story of attorney Atticus Finch and his children after he is appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man framed for a crime he did not commit. Their community in Alabama represents a microcosm of the tension between justice and racism that existed during the time period, and is still relevant today. Based on Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, the play is perfect for students ages 13 and up as well as families, churches, and civic groups.


A second regional professional premiere takes to the stage March 3-28, 2016. It's the musical "Dogfight" in which a young soldier plays a cruel joke on an unsuspecting girl. Winner of the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical after it premiered in 2012, it's based on a 1991 film. Three young Marines set out for an evening of fun before being deployed the next day, but Corporal Eddie Birdlace meets an awkward waitress and uses her as the catalyst for a cruel bet with his buddies. The waitress, however, changes the game and allows Eddie to realize what true love really is. 

To close the 2015-16 season, The Media Theatre has a musical to lead Philadelphia into the time frame of the upcoming 2016 Democratic Convention which will be hosted by the City of Brotherly Love. It's "1776", Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards' classic which follows John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Richard Henry Lee as they attempt to have the second Continental Congress vote for independence from the British monarchy by signing the Declaration of Independence. With humor and insight, "1776" represents the most seminal event in our nation's history. It's a musical based in Philadelphia, about the beginnings of our American society as we know it today. "1776" is directed by Jennie Eisenhower and stars Ben Dibble as John Adams as it represents the beginnings of our freedoms to choose and runs April 13 to May 22. 

All Broadway Series musicals at The Media Theatre are produced by Media Music Theatre Company (Artistic Director Jesse Cline). For subscription information, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org










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