Monday, October 19, 2015


The iconic musical "Gypsy" is on stage at The Media Theatre through November 1. Philadelphia's Krissy Fraelich, a Springfield resident, plays Mama Rose who is the ultimate stage mother, doing everything she can to push her daughters to stardom. From the time of vaudeville's heyday to it's end, Mama Rose wants nothing more than celebrity and fame to find its way to siblings June and Louise. Based on the true story of famed stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, "Gypsy" never goes out of style due to its resonating core. 

The score is legendary, with songs including "Let Me Entertain You", "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and "Rose's Turn" that have become synonymous with music theatre. The lyrics, written by Stephen Sondheim in his younger years, are filled with irony while the music by Jule Styne represents the brassy, sassy style rarely heard in contemporary theatre. 

Enjoy the photos and get tickets to the show by calling 610-891-0100 or visiting "Gypsy" has Wednesday performances at 2pm and 7:30, Thursdays at 7:30, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm now through November 1. 

Photos by Laura Briglia.

Krissy Fraelich as Mama Rose

Mama Rose finds a Newsboy (Zachary Divito)  for her show 

Dainty June (Taylor Elise Rector)
performs with the Farmboys (Glenn Britton, Avery Sobszak, Kyle Segarra, and JD Triolo)

Louise (Anna Giordano) and Tulsa (Avery Sobszak) kick up their heels
Herbie (Kelly Briggs) learns more about Mama Rose (Krissy Fraelich) 
It's not vaudeville anymore....Mama Rose (Fraelich) with Tessi Tura (Jennie Eisenhower), Cigar (Jim Conte), and Louise (Anna Giordano)
Cassidy Else as Young Louise with Ava Briglia as Baby June during the opening of "Gypsy".
With them are Holden Dubach, Hanna Murphy, Alexsa McKeown, Aiden Fox, and Bridget Henry. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015


The Media Theatre's holiday children's show is right around the corner. "Jack Frost Saves Christmas" returns to the stage after first being produced here five years ago. It plays every weekend November 21 to January 3, Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon. 

The rollicking, merry, and heartfelt musical is all about a boy who is unique because everything he touches turns to ice. Jack Frost appears out of a snow bank and meets four humorous animals: a rabbit, a polar bear, a penguin, and a raccoon. 

Realizing he is different, they take him to Christmastown where he meets Elizabeth, a girl who befriends him, as well as the theatre director Mr. Holly who thinks Jack is in town to perform in the holiday show! Hijinks ensue, temperatures soar, and the holiday is in jeopardy until friendship saves the day.

With Book and Lyrics by Matt Wallace and Tina Jo Wallace and Music by Scott Bradley (who was once The Media Theatre's resident music director) "Jack Frost Saves Christmas" is a fun holiday show for everyone ages 4 and up. 

The cast is made up of The Media Theatre's New School students, Media Theatre professional actors and educators, and an ensemble from its acting and dance classes. For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit

The "Jack Frost Saves Christmas" cast is:

Jack Frost.......Michael Wells
Elizabeth.........Hanna Murphy
Elizabeth's Mom...Gigi Furlan

Rabbit.............Cassidy Else
Penguin.........Ben Pedersen
Raccoon........Carter Weiss
Polar Bear.....Tim Haney

Story Tellers....Emma Fox, Lauren Poltrock, Mary Kate Vink
News Vendors...Holden Dubach, Sean O' Neill

Mr. Holly.......Roger Ricker
Anna..............Alexsa McKeown
Michael.........Zachary Divito

Father Winter/ Santa.....Henry O' Neill

Townspeople....Yazmin Ahmed, Kayla Blackstock, Noelle Longenberger, Sean O' Neill, Bridget McTear, Danny Pedersen, Samantha Sweeney, Maxwell Talbot, Madison Vassilakopoulos

Jack Frost....Ben Pedersen
Elizabeth......Noelle Longenberger
Mom..............Kayla Blackstock
Rabbit...........Lauren Poltrock
Penguin.......Sean O' Neill
Polar Bear/ Michael....Holden Dubach
Raccoon/ Anna......Yazmin Ahmed
Mr. Holly/ Father Winter/ Santa....Tim Haney

Monday, October 12, 2015


There's a Beauty on stage at The Media Theatre each weekend through November 1. It's the "Tale of Beauty and The Beast" Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon, featuring a cast of professional adult actors as well as student actors.

This original version of the story features songs such as "Could You Possibly Be My Friend?" and "Fables and Fairytales" as well as humorous characters like Greedo and Graspo the two brothers-in-law of The Beauty who will do everything they can to achieve riches.

Swarthmore's Jacob Mergott, 16, plays the dual role of The Prince/ The Beast, with Molly Sorensen, 14, of Malvern as The Beauty. Both did very well in The Media Theatre's summer "Vocalist" contests with Mergott making it to the final round in 2015 and  Sorensen winning the competition in 2014. 

An Old Woman (Roger Ricker) casts a spell on The Prince and, later, on the entire audience as volunteers are invited onto the stage to help out.

Enjoy the photos, and get tickets to the show by visiting or calling 610-891-0100. The show is suitable for ages 5 and up and is one hour in length. Photos by Chris Furlan. 

Molly Sorensen as The Beauty
Jacob Mergott as The Prince
Roger Ricker as The Old Woman
Lars Halldin as Graspo with Michael Wells as Greedo
Tim Haney, center, as The Clock with Sarah Shoumer as a Masterpiece Painting and Molly Sorensen as Beauty
The Beast (Mergott) with his Magic Looking Glass (Violet Wiley and Caileigh Crane)
Emily Smith as Marguerite and Brianna Jaffe as Isabel, the sisters of Beauty (Photo by Monica Crane)
The Beast (Jacob Mergott) with his paintings (Sarah Shoumer, Mary Kate Vink) and Madame Rondeau (Veronica Garrubbo) --Photo by Monica Crane

Friday, October 9, 2015


The Media Theatre has the Philadelphia region's professional premiere of the 10-time Tony winning Broadway show "Billy Elliot: The Musical". Based on the film about the boy who, during a miner's strike in the 1980's, wants to become a ballet dancer rather than the boxer his father has set his sights on, the musical features a score by Elton John.

"Billy Elliot: The Musical" became an instant hit on both London's West End and Broadway due to its incredible choreography which is mostly performed by the young actor portraying Billy. A show based on the template of old-fashioned 'book' musicals while leaping into a new genre of entertainment it encapsulates the unique qualities which each of us have within us, thereby focusing on individuality and self-expression. As The New York Times said, 'Billy Elliot is not a dance musical. It's about why we need dance.'

With a sub-plot regarding a miner's strike in a small town and the life values which go along with it, sometimes which deeply contrast with the goals of life one has when art is a main ingredient to one's make-up, "Billy Elliot: The Musical" reaches beyond dance as it reminds us all that sometimes life is not just about what is in front of us but what it is we are able to achieve.

The production at The Media Theatre will be directed by Geoffrey Goldberg. It plays November 18, 2015 to January 3, 2016 during the holiday season.

The role of Billy Elliot will be shared by Media's Brandon Rannalli and West Chester's Gunar Daniels. Both boys were chosen after an extensive East Coast search in which the production company had two days of auditions in New York City. 

Mrs. Wilkinson, the ballet teacher, will be played by Anne Connors. Billy's Dad is Zach Wobensmith, with the role of his brother Tony being brought to the stage by Garrison Carpenter.

Billy's friend Michael is double cast with Nathan Esser and JD Triolo, with the saucy sassy role of Grandma being played by Delaware County's Susan Wefel. Mr. Braithwaite is Steven Ciapanna, with Kelly Briggs as George.

Elisa Matthews has the plum role of Billy's Dead Mum, while the role of his friend Debbie is double cast with two Media Theatre students: Allie Buchanan and Anna Grace Rosenthal. Big Davey is Rusty Flounders.

Rachel Beiswenger, Kaitlin Davis, JP Dunphy, Jake Glassman, Topher Layton, Patrick Ludt, Kimberly Maxson, Mark Schenfish, Carl Nathaniel Smith, and Kristi Smith make up the Ensemble. 

The Ballet Girls are Larissa Culbertson, Jolie Jaffe, Anais Lee, Mirabelle Lee, Brooke McCarthy, Kennedy Ndiaye, and Kristianna Ranalli. Aiden Fox is the small boy. Josh Atkinson is Posh Boy and Tall Boy. 

For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit


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