Friday, July 8, 2016


The Media Theatre's annual summer singing competition, which is also an entertaining event for audiences, is "The Vocalist" and it hit high notes with its 2016 debut on Wednesday July 6. The talented singers were great examples of professionalism and poise as they each performed songs of their choice.

Professionalism was also exemplified by the warm emcee, Broadway actor Nicholas Saverine, who charmed the audience all night long with a bright personality and the ease of a stage veteran. Saverine has appeared on The Media Theatre stage several times in the past few years, and will be seen again this fall in Philadelphia's regional professional premiere of the Tony winning "Bridges of Madison County: The Musical".
Broadway and regional theatre actor Nicholas Saverine, who emceed the first 2016 "Vocalist"
"I feel so at home on this wonderful historic stage," Saverine said to the crowd of nearly 160. "I know these young performers do as well. This is a fantastic opportunity for them to have a summer showcase while expressing themselves the best way they can--by being vocalists."
The Media Theatre's Artistic Director Jesse Cline
with "The Vocalist" sponsor, John Whitig (President of Iron Workers Bank). 
Jesse Cline, the theatre's Artistic Director, who is one of the judges each week, added, "We look at this as an educational experience first and foremost. Yes, it's a contest and someone will eventually go home the winner, but the important aspect here is that they are able to perform each week on this professional stage in front of an audience. You cannot beat that type of education."

The other two judges during week one were actress and director Jennie Eisenhower and Iron Workers Bank President John Whitig. 

Cline also chats with each contestant after they sing, giving himself, the judges, and the audience a chance to get to know more about them. Some are humorous, while others are more heartfelt. Some are a bit nervous, while others hide it well. It's a mostly unrehearsed evening of entertainment and one never knows exactly what will happen after the show begins.
Ben Kapilow, the "Vocalist" accompanist
The only rehearsal the contestants have is one session each week with the show's music director and accompanist, Ben Kapilow. They go through their song with him each week a few days prior to the contest performance and happens live!

The contestants/ performers in "The Vocalist 2016" are all between the ages of 14-24, with this year's participants skewing toward the younger side. For most, it's an opportunity to hone their craft, but for some it's a first time experience on stage in front of an audience. For audiences, it's pure entertainment as Broadway songs and pop classics are performed each week by up and coming talent.

Tickets are $12 for children and $15 for adults during the show's first five weeks. No contestant is eliminated until after four weeks, with vote tallies and judges' scores being accumulated, and then "The Vocalist" heads into Week Five's Semi-Finals and Week Six's Finals. The ticket price goes up slightly for Week Six when the Top 15 perform, after being culled from this year's 27 contestants. The event is sponsored by Iron Workers Bank.

For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit You may also vote for your favorite contestant online which may assist them in moving forward after week four.



Alexia Alvarez, 14, of Media,  opened the show with "Safe and Sound"

Alexandra Battisti, 14, from Malvern, sang "Johnny One Note"
Kyleigh Bleacher, 19, of Ridley Park sings "Piece by Piece"
West Chester's Emma Costello, 14, sings "Come To My Garden"
Larissa Culbertson, 14, of Wayne, sings "Superboy and Invisible Girl"
Aidan Curry, 14, of Broomall, speaks to Jesse Cline after he performed "Naughty"
Tori D'Ascenzo, 15, of Delco enjoys her second summer as a "Vocalist".
She sang "Can't Help Falling In Love"
Jake Faragalli, 14, of New Jersey does "Believe" from Book of Mormon. 
Lauren Faulkner, 15, Glenolden does her song "Blue Lips"
16 year old William Fay of Boothwyn does "Sarah"
Elaine Ficarra, 15, of Glenmoore, belts out "I Dreamed A Dream"
18 year old Troy Gartner from Paoli, sings the classic "Get Me To The Church On Time"
Moses Gonzalez, 21, of Woodlyn, does "Pretending"
Kate Goodrich, 19, of Media sings
Toni Huegel, 14, of Springfield performs "Gravity"
Carrie Hytha, 21, of Phoenixville, sings "Take The A-Train"
Kaliegh Kahan, 16, Cochranville, does "At Last" 
Garnet Valley's 14 year old Megan Kascenski sings "A Thousand Years"
Sarah Korbel, of Wayne, 17, gets into "Somewhere" from West Side Story
Paul Mariani III, 15, of Admore with "December 1963"
17 year old Jacob Mergott, of Swarthmore, sings "Love Is Here To Stay"
Sophia Newton, 15, of West Chester interprets "Beautiful"
Hope Smalley and her guitar do "Graceland". She is 19 from Secane
Molly Sorensen, 14, "Another Suitcase in Another Hall"

"Pulled" from Addams Family is done by Alli Sutton, 16, of Hatboro
Havertown's 16 year old Matt Tierney and "Seasons of Love"
Paul Vink, 14, of West Chester closed the first week with "Empty Chairs" from Les Miz

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