Sunday, June 26, 2016


You don’t have to go to NYC to find talented young up and coming performers. The Media Theatre’s summer “Vocalist” and “Vocalist Junior” events allow local youth to shine on stage each Wednesday and Sunday night from July 6 through August 14.
From elementary school age up to 24 years old, the annual competition is entertaining for audiences, much like the popular national singing contests on television. Produced by Media Music Theatre Company, the weekly showcases provide ample opportunity for the contestants as well, allowing them a chance to perform for large audiences while honing their skills on Delaware County’s only professional music theatre stage.
"The Vocalist" and "Vocalist Jr" Music Director and accompanist, Ben Kapilow
The contestants have been culled from recent auditions held at the theater’s new School and Dance Studio. The actual contest performances take place at the Media Theatre, 104 E. State St. Ages 14-24 will sing Wednesday nights at 7pm during “The Vocalist,” while the tots and pre-teens, ages 7-13, take the stage during “Vocalist Junior” on Sunday evenings at 7pm.
They’ll be slight changes to the contest this year, but the format remains the same. No one is eliminated until after Week 4 in either competition, and an extra week has been added moving the “Vocalist” and its “Junior” counterpart to a six week series starting this year.
“Audiences will actually get to see each contestants grow,” said Media Music Theatre Co. Artistic Director Jesse Cline. “We also look at this as an educational experience. So, rather than singing one song and leaving the competition, each vocalist has the opportunity to learn a bit more about what it takes to perform in front of an audience on a professional stage.”
Cline, as the one constant judge, is a part of an important process in the competition. He will have an extra category on his ballot that will not appear on the guest judges’ tally sheets. His added category is Individualism, which reflects his connection to the singers each week and his rapport with them following their performances.

“In getting to know them more than the other judges, it seems logical that I would have this extra category,” Cline said. “There may be a week in which a young singer falters a bit, but I will know what they are capable of and who they are. The Individualism category speaks to the fact that each contestant is unique. Their interests and what is best for them should come first. Each has their own story to tell in their own way.”
The guest judges will mark their ballots in three categories. The added category of Song Choice will join Vocal Ability and Stage Presence. Cline will have those three, plus his extra category. All categories will utilize a 1-10 ranking system, with 1 being the lowest score and 10 being the highest.
Online voting will take place again this year, not affecting any outcome until after Week Three. As with the judges’ scoring, the online voting will also be accumulated for four weeks. After Week 4, online scores will be tallied and the person with the most votes online will receive an added 30 points to their total score. The additional points may or may not assist them in moving forward. The second-place online vote-getter will receive an added 25 points, with the third receiving 20 extra. Vote-getters four through 10 receive 15 extra points, and those who rank 11-15 online will gain 10 extra points to possibly move them into the semifinals.
“We value our first-time Media Theatre performers as well as those returning,” Cline said. “To have so many aspiring vocalists from Delaware County and the Philadelphia region interested in our programs here is a big stamp of approval.”
 The top five in each contest receive cash prizes. They are sponsored by Iron Workers Bank. For more information or tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit
The “Vocalist” contestants begin singing their hearts out with songs of their choice each Wednesday night July 6 through August 10. They are Alexia Alvarez, 14, Media; Alexandra Battisti, 14 of Malvern; Kyleigh Bleacher, 19, Ridley Park; Emma Costello, 14, West Chester; Larissa Culbertson, 14, Wayne; Aidan Curry, 14, Broomall; Tori D’Ascenzo, 15, Delco; Lauren Faulkner, 15, Glenolden; Jake Faragalli, 14, NJ; William Fay, 16, Boothwyn; Elaine Ficarra, 15, Glenmoore; Troy Gartner, 18, Paoli; Moses Gonzalez, 21, Woodlyn; Kate Goodrich, 19, Media; Toni Huegel, 14, Springfield; Carrie Hytha, 21, Phoenixville; Megan Kaczenski, 14, Garnet Valley; Kaliegh Kahan, 16, Cochranville; Sarah Korbel, 17, Wayne; Paul Mariani III, 16, Ardmore; Jacob Mergott, 17, of Swarthmore; Sophia Newton, 15, West Chester; Hope Smalley, 19, Secane; Molly Sorensen, 15, Malvern; Allison Sutton, 16, Hatboro; Matt Tierney, 16, Havertown; and Paul Vink, 14, of West Chester.
“Vocalist Junior” singers will entertain while they vie for the top five spots starting Sunday night July 10 and continuing through August 14. They are Josh Atkinson, 12, Drexel Hill; Matthew Bentley, 12, Thornton; Jada Bochanski, 8, Broomall; Shannon Clark, 13, Havertown; Joseph Colasante, 13, Brookhaven; Grace Curry, 11, Broomall; Cara Furchner, 8, Glen Mills; Veronica Garrubbo, 13, Berwyn; Bridget Henry, 9, Havertown; Hayley Hughes, 13, Hockessin, DE; Ava Kelly, 12 and Skylar Kelly, 12 of Phoenixville; Khadijah King, 7, Upper Darby; Sadie Lock, 9, Wenonah, NJ; Sean Lock, 12, Malvern; Natalie Mancini, 9, Broomall; Carly McGuinn, 12, Glen Mills; Fiona Moser, 13, Havertown; Amanda Shaughnessy, 13, Wallingford; Mary Kate Vink, 12, West Chester; Brynn Washbourne, 9, Coatesville; Abigail White, 13, Boothwyn; Carter Weiss, 11, Pike Creek, DE; and Violet Wiley, 10, Woodlyn.
Notably, Paul Mariani III is competing for the sixth year, having started out as a “Junior” member of “Vocalist”. Last year, at age 14, he moved into the Wednesday night “Vocalist” contest where he will compete again this year. Also of note, Molly Sorensen, who won “Vocalist Junior” two years ago, makes her debut in the 14-24 age category with “Vocalist” this summer where she will compete against others in her age range and slightly older. When she won “Junior” she was one of the oldest contestants in the younger age category. 

Monday, June 20, 2016


During the month of July, everyone can be "13" again! That's when Jason Robert Brown's Broadway musical "13" is on stage at The Media Theatre. 

Each weekend July 8 through the 31, the show features a story about Evan Goldman, who becomes a teenager and moves from New York City to a small town in the Midwest. If that change is not enough, he is also going through physical changes as he becomes a young man. "13" is about growing up and learning how to fit in, of course, but it's also appealing to adults who wish to take a walk down memory lane.
The Guys of "13": Josiah Jacoby, Dayshawn Hewitt, Michael Wells, JD Triolo, Matt Saylor, Leo Koncos, Jackson Sweeney, and Josh Atkinson

Talkin' Broadway, in David Edward Hughes' review of the show's Seattle production in 2011, said "It has abundant heart and humor, and it may be my favorite Jason Robert Brown score since Parade."

Hughes' review hits the mark, as the show's score is very appealing to baby boomers raised on American Top 40. Composer Jason Robert Brown sites Billy Joel, Carole King, and Paul Simon as popular artists who have influenced his work along with Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. 

"13" features a score which speaks to the teen years, but also songs which have a universal appeal such as "What It Means To Be A Friend", "The Lamest Place In The World", and "A Little More Homework". 
The Gals of "13": Hannah Murphy, Chloe Millett, Gigi Furlan, Noelle Longenberger, Gigi Furlan, Tess Szathmary, Veronica Garrubbo, Jillian Donohue, Lexi Gwynn, Brianna Jaffe, Molly Sorensen, Toni Huegel, Cameron Scott Flurry, Alaina Guo, Hayley Hughes, Emily Mooney, Rachael McVey, and in front Fana Schoen and Marnie Clark
Dan Elish and Robert Horn wrote the book, which is a series of vignettes tying the story together as we watch Evan deal with culture shock and life changes. From school hallways to the movie theatre, each scene gives us more insight to each character represented. 

"13" has something for anyone between the ages of 12 to adult as we are taken in by the humor, heart, and message of the production. For adults, the perfect comparison might be that "13" is similar in style to "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown". Both shows examine life through younger eyes and minds, but "13" is from an older perspective.

"13" is on stage at The Media Theatre July 8 through July 31 with performances on Fridays at 7pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 7pm, and Sundays at 3pm. It is directed by Jesse Cline. For tickets call 610-891-0100 or visit


The cast of "13" at The Media Theatre is listed below. The Gals are double cast and perform on alternate weekends in roles listed. When not playing roles listed, they are in the Ensemble. 

Evan............JD Triolo
Brett.............Michael Wells
Archie..........Matt Saylor  
Malcolm.......Josiah Jacoby  
Eddie...........Josh Atkinson  
Richie/ Rabbi....Jackson Sweeney
Simon...........Leo Koncos 

Patrice.............Lexi Gwynn/ Molly Sorensen
Kendra.............Gigi Furlan/ Hayley Hughes
Lucy..................Veronica Garrubbo/ Cameron Flurry
Charlotte...........Brianna Jaffe/ Rachael McVey
Cassie..............Jillian Donohue/ Chloe Millett
Molly..................Noelle Longenberger/ Hanna Murphy

Marci Clark
Alaina Giu
Dayshawn Hewitt
Toni Huegel
Emily Mooney
Fana Schoen
Tess Szathmary

Thursday, June 9, 2016


The best of the Tony winning musicals "Phantom of The Opera", "Evita", "Cats", and more will be presented live on stage at The Media Theatre June 18, 19, 25, and 26. Theatre patrons will enjoy the greatest hits of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

"From London To New York: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber" is a production conceived and directed by Jesse Cline, Media Theatre's Artistic Director. With music direction by Christopher Ertelt, the two act revue of songs such as "Memory", "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" and "Love Changes Everything" will feature professional performers in an elegant setting.

Patrick Ludt, a long time favorite of audiences at The Media Theatre, will be a featured entertainer. He was seen alongside Andrea McArdle in "Hello Dolly" and was recently in "1776".  He'll be joined by three other cast members of "1776", Meredith Beck, Luke Brahdt, Elyse Langley, and Nicholas Saverine. 
Patrick Ludt
Media Theatre student Thomas Lock, who played the courier in "1776", will provide a youthful presence to the show, representing the theatre's mission of providing opportunities for young performers. Two other Media Theatre students will add to the talented list of performers: Anna Rosenthal and Molly Sorensen. Both are veterans of Media Theatre productions including "Billy Elliot" and "Beauty and the Beast". Sorensen was the "Vocalist Junior" winner two years ago. 

There may be a song from Webber's current Tony nominated musical "School of Rock" which was a huge comeback for the legendary composer. The Media Theatre is producing "School of Rock" in August to continue providing current popular entertainment for local audiences.

Tickets for "From London To New York: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber" are $30. The show is on Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3pm for two weeks (June 18 and 19, and June 25 and 26). Call 610-891-0100 or visit

Thursday, June 2, 2016


Want to sing and possibly win a cash prize? Then "The Vocalist" and "Vocalist Junior" competitions at The Media Theatre may be just what you are looking for!

The Media Theatre is holding a second round of auditions for the summer competition on Sunday June 19 at 2pm.

The summer event sets the tone for The Media Theatre’s focus on musicals and music theatre education. It is produced by Media Music Theatre Company, the professional non-profit music theatre organization which has a full season each year with its Broadway Series and youth programming.

The contest has produced several performers who have gone on to appear in professional productions at The Media Theatre and at other regional theatres, including Ava Briglia who was a top five placer during “Vocalist Junior” and is currently in Broadway’s hit show “Matilda”, playing the title role. 
All ages may audition on the same date and will be placed in the proper category according to their age. “The Vocalist” is for ages 14-24 while “Vocalist Junior” is for ages 7-13. The actual contests begin on stage in front of a live audience in July. 
Between 35-40 contestants will be culled from the auditions for both versions of “The Vocalist”.  
The winner of “The Vocalist” and “The Vocalist Junior” will receive a cash prize to assist in furthering their education or career. Iron Workers Bank sponsors the competition.
There is a $25 registration fee for the auditions at The Media Theatre. All that are auditioning must bring sheet music for the pianist. Any audition song is acceptable for both age groups. 
To register or to receive info, call 610-891-0100 or email