During June, July, and August The Media Theatre, which is known for its award-winning Broadway Series of musicals, places the spotlight on special event programming and highlights its talented youth.
The summer of 2015 is no exception, as major Philadelphia celebrities Big Daddy Graham and Jeff Coon share the stage with the summer camps and Vocalist contests.
It all begins Saturday June 13 as Media borough spotlights its Blues Stroll headliners Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials on stage at The Media Theatre. They were first here in 2007, becoming the most popular and memorable headline show for a Blues Stroll ever. The band's wildly energetic and seriously soulful music is jam-packed with Lil' Ed's incendiary slide playing and passionate singing.
On Thursday night July 23 at 7:30pm, a special ALS benefit is headlined by Jeff Coon and his Summer Club. Titled "A Swingin' Concert for Hope", it features Philadelphia favorite Coon and a cool cast of crooners performing, joking and dancing before a 17-piece live band. The 2-hour swingin’ concert will star Fran Prisco, JP Dunphy, Michael Philip O’Brien along with Coon. Their set list (and antics) will conjure up memories of a night out at a swanky supper club or a 1960’s casino lounge act. Sprinkled between songs will be guest acts including actress and singer Krissy Fraelich. Jersey shore summer residents are already familiar with this supper club show as Coon and friends regularly headline Cape May and Avalon concert halls.
The July 23 event, in which all proceeds benefit the ALS Hope Foundation, is their only performance outside the shore this summer. There is a pre-show reception for VIP sponsors and ticket holders, with a post-show reception as well.
Another fun fundraiser, this time for The Media Theatre's Youth Programs, is "Good Vibrations" on Wednesday evening August 19. Roger Ricker and Friends Aaron Dake, JP Dunphy, Tim Haney, and Denzel Thomas will perform hit songs of the '60's from such iconic groups as The Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and The Supremes. As with all Ricker concerts, there will also be a youth ensemble performing to assist in the entertainment as well as The State Street Miracles. With simple keyboard accompaniment, the songs will have cabaret-style arrangements with the celebratory party show starting at 7:30pm. The first ever "Media Theatre Volunteer Of The Year Award" will be given to Ridley police officer Henry O' Neill for his assistance with the theatre's children's shows, private receptions, and ticket sales.
Aside from these special events, the annual "Vocalist" competition which is a showcase for up and coming young talent ages 14-24, starts up Wednesday July 8. The five week contest is a great time for audiences as the singers perform everything from classic Broadway to current pop songs as they try for the 2015 title winning cash and plenty of PR opportunities to further their career. The "Junior" version of the contest for ages 7-13 is on Sunday nights starting July 12. Both start at 7pm.
Camp Media Theatre has five two-week sessions starting Monday June 15 from 9:30am to 3:30pm five days a week as young performers take part in acting, dance, and vocal music lessons and rehearse a show they create on their own.
The Teen Camp meets starting June 15 as well, with talented young actors, singers, and dancers rehearsing "The Who's Tommy" which is performed for the general public starting mid-July.
All this and Disney's "Aladdin Jr", too, as the popular Broadway show will be seen in a special one hour version every weekend in June, July, and August with a mostly youth cast sharing the stage with a few adults. With songs like "A Whole New World" and "Friend Like Me", the show is perfect for families and children ages 4 and up. It can be seen Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon.
So, even though the Broadway Series is 'off' during the summer months, the stage will be very busy at The Media Theatre. Media Music Theatre Company keeps the dream alive for campers and youth performers, while special guests and concert events add to the cool times ahead.
For tickets to any of these special events or concerts, "Aladdin Jr" or "The Who's Tommy", call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org