Thursday, June 10, 2010


The Media Theatre held its sixth annual Delco Idol auditions June 7 and 8 with the largest number of hopefuls the contest has seen.  From the approximately 180 who auditioned, 70 were chosen to become a part of the actual 2010 competition.  The theatre’s Artistic Director Jesse Cline held the auditions.
“We have 35 talented performers in Delco Idol ,” Artistic Director Jesse Cline said. “We also have 35 youngsters in the Junior version of the franchise. There is a lot of great talent to showcase this year. Hopefully the contestants will remember that, although someone walks out of the theatre in August as the ‘winner’, this is a format for each of them to develop what it is they do. It allows them to bring their unique personality on to a professional music theatre stage in front of large audiences.  Each of them will gain performance experience and be given an opportunity to be adjudicated in an environment that will assist them in understanding more about themselves.”
Cline continued, “The Media Theatre is Delaware County’s only professional music theatre.  That is why the contest is entitled “Delco Idol”. When you put that into perspective, everyone who performs here is already a ‘winner’. ”
The popular “Delco Idol” vocal event brings an energy and excitement to State Street in Media for five Wednesday evenings as audiences have the option of browsing Media’s shops or having dinner outdoors at Dining Under The Stars prior to “Idol” at 7pm. The Junior “Idol” takes place on Sunday evenings, creating a weekend buzz. “The contest assists foot traffic in town,” Cline stated. “Many theatre patrons visit the restaurants and are able to see firsthand what the borough has to offer.”
The “Delco Idol Junior” contestants, between the ages of 7-13, are: Alexandra Billotta, Springfield; Lili Burgerlentz, Media; Christopher Clark, Glen Mills; Aidan Cole, Wallingford; Emily Chressanthis, Media; Mimi Dambro, Glen Mills; Taylor Debello, Springfield; Brendan DeSanto, Radnor; Jessica Fala, Garnet Valley; Dominique Franco, Drexel Hill; Lauren Grajewski, Newtown Square; Gabby Hanes, Morton; Jade Holman, Wayne; Gillian Keener, Aston; Mason Kelly, Folsom; Carlie C. Lopez, Upper Darby; Paul Mariani III, Ardmore; Brianna Mazzola, Glen Mills; Paige Mazzola, Glen Mills; Noah Mendell, Wallingford; Makenna Mink, Glen Mills; Zackary Mokary, Linwood; Danny Murphy, Havertown; Jessica Nardo, Drexel Hill; Jacqueline Ranieri, Media; Keely Renninger, Glen Mills; Teanna Rico, Essington; Joesi Rider, Newtown Square; Paige Romano, Morton; Ally Schneeman, West Chester; Victoria Sellers, Thornton; Emily Smith, Media; Gregory Smith, Media; Lexi Suydam, Havertown; and Valerie West, Collingdale.
Vocalists ages 14-24 will take the spotlight in the “Delco Idol” contest. They are:  Sara Abo-Harb, Havertown; Rebecca Alexander, Newtown Square; Jason Berger, Chadds Ford; Kyleigh Bleacher, Ridley Park; Fiona Bradley, Havertown; Renee Cannon, Downingtown; Kelly Delduca, Moorestown; John Diferdinando, Cheltenham; Theresa Dorsch, Essington; Tre Fountain, Prospect Park; Elizabeth Gallagher, Springfield; Brian Giebler, Phoenixville; Amanda Hewitt, Philadelphia; Amanda Houlihan, Morton; Ben Iffrig, Springfield; Christopher Infantino, Media; Carly Katz, Broomall; Julie Keyes, Garnet Valley; Lindsay Laborda, Media; Aine Lafferty, West Grove; Amber Lallo, Glen Mills; Albert Legg, Philadelphia; Mark Morano, Prospect Park; Maggie Molen, Garnet Valley; Brianna Moses, Garnet Valley;  Lindsay Nave, Royersford; Jordan Robbins, Malvern; Ashley Robertson, Chester Springs; Lindsay Ronaldson, Aston;  Katie Stecklair, Southampton; PJ Syfrit, Glen Mills; Denzel Thomas, Media; Danielle Trofa, Boothwyn; Alex Wolfe, Blue Bell; and Bridget Yingling, Springfield.
Anyone involved in the competition must reside within a 55-mile radius of The Media Theatre. “It was terrific seeing so many newcomers to the theatre at the audition,” Cline explained. “We don’t have a huge percentage of repeat contestants, although there are a few. It’s nice to know that this summer event is still reaching beyond the borders of Media into the entire region.”
Cline is the one constant judge throughout both contests.  Guest judges fill out ballots each week on a rotation basis and the votes are tabulated, with five vocalists asked ‘not to return’ the following week until 15 of the original line-up remain for the Finals in August in both the Idol and Junior versions.  The judging is complimented by online voting, which is now live on The Media Theatre website ( The general public may vote for their favorite contestant ($2 per vote). The contestant in each contest with the most votes garners 5 extra points toward their overall judging tally heading into the competition.
Tickets to both “Idol” competitions are now on sale. Purchasing reserved seats in advance is suggested for this popular contest. Call The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit
 (pictured: Teana Rico, 11, of Essington, auditions for the Delco Idol Junior competition at The Media Theatre. She was one of the lucky contestants who was chosen to move forward beginning in July.)


  1. Media theatre should bring in musical acts that people might actually go watch...Even American Idol on television has lost it's luster. It's great to promote local kids...and thier talents...I get it. But, the Media theatre should please consider expanding the variety of shows to include plays, regional and national musicians and groups, movies, etc...Be diverse!!! I met with some senior citizens who absolutely hated RENT. It did not appeal to them and they felt uncomfortable. I personally enjoyed it...but wondered, this did not appeal to seniors and I can't see bringing children to see this thoughts are DIVERSITY....have broader programs to appeal to everyone...ok, let the attacks begin!!! (I have read your mission statement)

  2. Lighten up - you can't please all of the people all of the time! My 14 year-old daughter sat next to a 93 year-old woman and they both absolutely LOVED Rent. And, hello, it does not get more diverse than Rent! Having only G-rated shows is NOT diverse...Kudos to Media Theatre!

  3. Media Theater will never be financially sound until they branch out to music and movies. Until then they will always have there hand out. Pay the electric bill yet? They showed a film before it makes no sense not to continue. Look at the Keswick in glenside---- very successful

  4. I agree that more movies at Media Theater makes sense, and it would get more people in the door. Does anyone remember the TLA on South Street when it used to show classic, indie, and international films? I'd love to see something like that at least part of the time, mixed with live theater and music.

  5. It's ashame we offer constructive criticism and ideas...and we are told to "lighten up". Guess I should wear comfortable shoes.

  6. with everything....all are entitled to their opinion....however,I find it funny that they are all Anonymous.Fact:The Media Theatre is the second largest employer in Media after the courthouse.Fact:They have an awesome children's program and continue to educate.None of anyone's business about their electric bill...want to comment,have the guts to write your name.Debbie Romano

  7. Hi Debbie, My name is Alec Mendez...I would like to FINALLY give kudos to the Media theatre for participating in the Media Blues Stroll this past weekend...It was phenomenal to actually see the theatre almost full, people enjoying the music, buying concessions...Wow, can you imagine if they did this every weekend when the broadway plays are dark? Again, I would love to see the theatre reach out and offer more than they have been. I don't dislike Broadway musicals, I just believe this little "miracle" on State street can offer more than it is. I am trully looking forward to see the teens put on Les Miserables this summer, I think that is a huge challenge for teens to do...but, wouldnt it be cool if Chuck Berry, B.B King, or even big-named stand up comedians were booked, the Media theatre would be MORE than what it will Media...and maybe no one would worry about the light bill.

  8. The Media Theatre is what it is.
    Rent, I heard , was excellent. Delco Idol is the greatest avenue for our local kids to shine.
    Yes, movies and "big names" would be nice, but they would need a promoter to get those acts in there. CMC Productions,Pa would be happy to help!
    Best of luck to all the Delo Idol contestants. I will be there to cheer my kids on !!

  9. Has the Media Theatre always charged $2 to vote for DELCO IDOL? Are you kidding me? Now, we know the light bill is covered.

  10. alex wolfe is going to win.

  11. No offense to the young people who performed..they were there to do their best; however, the two master of ceremonies (if that is an appropriate term for their prejudicial candor) were a real turn off.
    Some children were encouraged to interact and show some of their pesonality, so why not all? One little girl seemed to have something she
    wished to say but was directed with hand gestures to exit the stage. I don't see what the children learned from this experience, especially those who made the cut, other than "networking" works. Here's hoping they continue to believe in themselves and don't become dependent on a flawed system of presenting their talent in terms of affordability of sponsorships and votes and whom you know through previous Media
    Theatre affiliations ????

    The rules were supposed to be a two minute song, but several
    individuals well exceeded that time limit, and were followed up by what was akin to a vaudeville act. Also, I know you have expenses, but you have obviously no means of accommodation for a disabled child to perform onstage. Does this mean that Americans With Disabilities are not in your usual offerings? ?? I am sad!

    Oh, and one individual made it through who was not even listed in your program and who I don't believe even performed onstage. Good luck with that.

  12. We would like to know why Delco Idol Jr. was not an even playing field for all involved. Why were some contestants permitted to accompany themselves or be accompanied by family members while others were left to sing without the benefit of friends or family members on stage? Why was the 2 minute rule not enforced, and in fact, flagrantly violated by some of he contestants? Why were the contestants that are part of the Teen Media theater camp singled out for praise while other contestants were simply given a hand signal to "be gone" after their performance?
    The people in attendance paid money to see the children sing, not to hear the Media staff brazenly promote and fundraise for the theater. To our knowledge, this was not advertised as a fundraising event.
    Perhaps the funds raised by this "competition " should be used to purchase a ramp and other equipment necessary to make the Media Theater wheelchair accessible. Has the board ever heard of the Americans with Disabilities Act?
    The most disgraceful part of the night was how the contestants were treated at the conclusion of the competition. The children who were eliminated were simply left backstage. Adults can handle rejection. The are multiple ways that we can think of that the efforts of these children could have been acknowledged. Could the Media Theater staff not think of any? We have been to CYO musicals/ talent shows that were minimally funded but treated all of the children involved like gold. This event should have been about children not money.
    Even the children that were selected to go on to next week's competition, while favored, were not treated well. Instead of being given their moment to shine, they were herded to the back of the stage to be yelled at about practice, binders, hole punches, and sheet music.
    Really classy....
    We thought this would be a fun activity for our family on a Sunday night. While the younger children that were with us did not necessarily understand, what we got was an eyeful. We will not be back to the Media Theater nor we ever allow our children to participate in a sham like this.

  13. I have nothing to do with Media Theatre but have gone to see my nephew perform. Seems to me that they have a really dedicated group of people there who truly care and put in long hours. My newphews play was great!! These people should be acknowledged.

    The people who have written anonymously need to identify themselves or do you just like to complain and not be part of the process?

  14. agree with annonymous.. very sad indeed.

  15. wonder how much money these parents are having to shell out to keep their kids in the contest. $100.00 sponsorships... hundreds of votes at $2.00 a shot ? In the end, one kid wins.. and then the credit card bill arrives.

  16. This is gonna be a rocking event and i think that this is a great opportunity for all the contestants to show their talent and skills.I am sure they will rock