Media, PA (May 13, 2015) – Fundraising for ALS definitely has a cool factor, as in ice cubes. Last summer the viral Bucket Challenge raised incredible awareness and funds for ALS, a degenerative neurological disease that leads to progressive weakness. This summer in suburban Philadelphia, ALS Hope Foundation is channeling cool with capital letters, as in swinging sounds backed by a big band. Join them on Thursday, July 23 at the Media Theatre for Swingin’ Concert For Hope. White dinner jackets and black bow ties are welcomed!
Philadelphia favorite Jeff Coon headlines a cool cast of crooners performing, joking and dancing before a 17-piece live band. The 2-hour swingin’ concert will star Fran Prisco, JP Dunphy, Michael Philip O’Brien along with Coon. Their set list (and antics) will conjure up memories of a night out at a swanky supper club or a 1960’s casino lounge act. Sprinkled between songs will be guest acts including actress and singer Krissy Fraelich.
Jersey shore summer residents are already familiar with this supper club show as Coon and friends regularly headline Cape May and Avalon concert halls.
“The Rat Pack is the inspiration for the Summer Club show,” wrote critic Neal Zoren as he reviewed their Cape May performance last summer. “Coon and Prisco, frequent co-stars and close friends offstage, have their in jokes about drinking. Prisco goes into a Dean Martin voice to deliver some patter while Coon calls his co-star “Francis” and begins and punctuates moments with Ed McMahon’s patented “Hey-ohhh.”
Zoren continues in his blog, Neals Paper, “where the Rat Pack model has better effect is in the mood and tone of the Summer Club show. Everything is bright and precise. Songs are given lively, snappy presentations. The vocals are superb, and each singer exudes an individual and likeable personality. These guys know what they’re doing, and they make every moment pay. I did not see a false or cloying note during more than two hours of confident showmanship.”
The July 23 concert at the Media Theatre will be their only performance outside the Jersey shore. And the fun-raising benefits a cause that sadly, can strike anyone and occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries. The cause of ALS remains unknown but progress has been made recently in identifying damaged genes.
“Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease,” explains Jacquellyne Hengst, Director of Development for ALS Hope Foundation, “is a neurodegenerative disease that affects a person's ability to eat, walk, speak and breathe. Our foundation, headquartered in Center City, is devoted to making a difference in the lives of individuals living with ALS and their families through education, care and research. We work directly with Drexel's Neuromuscular Research Laboratory and together, we are committed to finding a cure for ALS and keeping hope on the horizon."
On Thursday, July 23, the lively Swingin’ Concert For Hope will begin at 7:30 pm at 104 E. State Street in downtown Media. Tickets are tiered at $150 for Premium Orchestra, $100 for Orchestra and $80 for Standard seating. Tickets may be bought online or by calling the box office at 610-891-0100. A theatre chart and online box office can be found at The Media Theatre’s website, www.MediaTheatre.org.
Two Sky Boxes will be made available in the beautiful balcony section of the 1927-era Media Theatre.
A $10,000 corporate sponsorship will allow 20 guests to be seated in VIP luxury with a personal bartender. Likewise, $150 ticket holders will be treated to a pre-show reception and silent auction. For sponsorships or to make a donation, contact Jacquellyne at ALS Hope Foundation at 215-568-2426.
About Jeff Coon
This Jersey boy graduated from Lower Cape May Regional High School and attended the University of Pennsylvania. During the summer months, he would return home to Cape May to work at Carney’s, Restaurant Maureen (now M’Ocean), Summers and EsTaTi (now Cabanas). Multi-talented Coon graduated from Penn in 1993 with a Theatre Arts degree and has been a professional actor and singer ever since. Called by Philadelphia Weekly “one of Philadelphia’s most talented and vocally gifted musical performers,” Coon has appeared in over 100 professional productions, and been nominated for 10 Barrymore Awards (Philadelphia’s theatre awards), winning once. He appears frequently at Walnut Street Theatre and Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia, and has performed nationally with Philadelphia Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, The Prince Music Theatre, Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars and Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, among others. His many notable roles include Gomez (The Addams Family), Jean Valjean (Les Misérables), Harold Hill (The Music Man), Che (Evita) and Gaston (Beauty and the Beast).
About The Media Theatre
The Media Theatre for the Performing Arts is a growing non-profit organization that has been operating as the only professional theatre in Delaware County since the year 2000. Located in downtown Media on beautiful State St., The Media Theatre was originally constructed in 1927 as a vaudeville house also featuring "talkies". The ornate physical structure of the Media Theatre certainly represents the historic presence and unique value of downtown Media. The 2015-2016 Broadway Series kicks off September 23 with Gypsy followed by Billy Elliott: The Musical, To Kill A Mockingbird, Dogfight and finally 1776 – in time for the 2016 Democratic Convention in Philadelphia. For ticket information on the Swingin’ Concert For Hope and all upcoming shows, click on www.MediaTheatre.org.
Photos courtesy of The Summer Club