The Media Theatre held a fundraising Season Preview Event in Rose Valley Saturday September 22. The evening featured the premier unveiling of the professional music theatre's new Cunningham baby grand piano. Resident music director Tom Fosnocht christened the piano as the supreme vocals of Broadway's Tony nominated actress Ann Crumb
filled the main room of the home of Lee and Carol Thaler Roberts. Check out a photo of some of the stars of the event below!
Ann Crumb performed "A Very Unusual Way" from the musical Nine following her introduction by Artistic Director Jesse Cline. Cline and Crumb have a history of working together at The Media Theatre as director and actress in the critically acclaimed productions Souvenir, Master Class, and Wings. "She is the perfect representation of what it is we do," Cline explained. "She is the consummate professional, with a talent that is truly remarkable."
The new piano was able to be purchased through the sponsorship of several Media Theatre Gala attendees this past February. The piano donors attended the Season Preview Event at the Roberts' home, as well as members of its Board of Directors, theatre patrons, and supporters. Patrick Ward, the theatre's Executive Director, said, "The piano is symbolic of what we do at The Media Theatre which is music theatre. We wish to thank those who donated to make this new addition to our space possible and also to thank those who made the fundraising event on September 22 successful."
Following Crumb's opening performance, three new Members of The Media Theatre's New School drew massive applause from the appreciative crowd of just under 100. The three boys (Curtis Morenzy, Amir Newton, and Sadat Waddy) are with the Broadway Dreams Foundation of Philadelphia and will continue studies at The Media Theatre with Artistic Director Cline and Tom Fosnocht.
Another Broadway performer, William Thomas Evans, delighted the theatre's extended family with his performances of "Man of La Mancha" and "Cellophane Man". Evans is portraying the lead role of Edna Turnblad in Media's Hairspray now through November 4.
Cline presented a special honor during the Season Preview Event to hostess Carol Thaler Roberts, who is also the Gala Chair for Delaware County's only professional music theatre. Roberts spoke of the importance of The Media Theatre. "Tonight, I wish to express the importance of community," she said. "The Media Theatre is a driving force both artistically and economically in our community and is a valuable asset to the region, particularly due to its educational programs.”
She continued, “There is no reason to travel into the city to see Broadway performers in outstanding productions when you have the opportunity to do so here in our very own neighborhood. But The Media Theatre reaches beyond Delaware County as it is a nationally recognized music theatre company with performers such as Ann Crumb, Justin Guarini, and Wanda Sykes who have graced its historic stage. So as it is a part of the community, it also reaches far and beyond-- raising the awareness of our community to those who reside many, many miles away."
The Media Theatre's 2012-13 Broadway Series has Hairspray through November 4, followed by the Philadelphia/ Wilmington region's professional premiere of Dr. Dolittle with actor and sportscaster Bill Vargus in the title role. The fun '50's revue Forever Plaid plays March 6-31, and Broadway's Andrea McArdle, the original 'Annie', will portray the title role in Mame April 17-May 19. For tickets and information, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org.
Media Theatre's Executive Director Patrick Ward and Artistic Director Jesse Cline with Ann Crumb, Lee and Carol Roberts, and William Thomas Evans