Nov 20

Kissinger Would Have Cried: MISS SAIGON

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Francis Jue (Engineer) in North Shore Music Theatre’s production of Miss Saigon running through November 17, 2013. Photo © Paul Lyden

­Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Music by: CLAUDE-MICHEL SCHONBERG
Lyrics by: RICHARD MALTBY, JR., and ALAIN BOUBLIL
Original French Lyrics by: ALAIN BOUBLIL
Additional Material by: RICHARD MALTBY, JR.
Directed and Choreographed by: RICHARD STAFFORD

November 5th – November 17th, 2013
North Shore Music Theatre
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

It’s not often that a soap opera can double as a critique of American foreign policy, but North Shore Music Theatre’s production of Miss Saigon succeeds in creating a surreal love story in which American exceptionalism finds its gory limits. Continue reading

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Jun 17

Can an Evergreen Bloom?: THE SOUND OF MUSIC

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Photo©Paul Lyden

presented by North Shore Music Theatre

MUSIC BY: Richard Rodgers
LYRICS BY: Oscar Hammerstein II
BOOK BY: Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
Suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers” by: Maria Augusta Trapp
Directed and Choreographed by James Brennan
Music Directed by Dale Rieling

62 Dunham Rd
Beverly, Massachusetts
June 11th – June 23rd, 2013
NSMT Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly) Most of us can at least list the essentials of The Sound of Music: Julie Andrews, cute kids, nuns, Nazis.  As a child, it’s hard not to like it.  As an adult, it’s hard not to make fun of it.  As a regional theatre, it’s hard to do well.  Like It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol, audiences know what they want to get out of this play, and too many theaters sigh and go along with it.  It’s like playing with a three-year old nephew through Thanksgiving dinner because it’s easier than dealing with the tantrum. Continue reading

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Nov 04

Technicolor Gangsters: GUYS AND DOLLS

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Photo by Paul Lyden

presented by North Shore Music Theatre

Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Based on “The Idyll of Sarah Brown” and characters by Damon Runyon
Directed by Mark Martino
Choreographed by Michael Lichtefeld

Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International www.mtishows.com

North Shore Music Theatre
Beverly, Ma
October 30th – November 11th, 2012

North Shore Music Theatre Facebook Page
October 30th – November 11th, 2012

(Beverly) It’s easy to know from the opening sequence whether a production of the musical Guys and Dolls is going to hit on all cylinders or fall flat. The intro and music is supposed to paint a picture of the vibrant and surprisingly ordered chaos of New York City in the roaring 20’s, or at least the New York City that ferments in the imagination of the show’s authors, Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. It’s a metropolis awash with crime, as an apple is filched from a vendor and a pocket gets picked within the first two minutes of stage time, but it’s genial and high-energy crime, so much so that even cops simply shake their heads at the crooks’ peccadillos. Continue reading

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Oct 09

Sass, Refined: “9 TO 5″

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Photo by Paul Lyden, The lovely ladies of “9 to 5″

Music and lyrics by Dolly Parton
Book by Patricia Resnick
Directored/Choreographed by Richard Stafford
Musical Directored by Mark Hartman

North Shore Music Theatre
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA 01915
September 25 – October 7th
North Shore Music Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly) It seems like a dicey proposition: take a 1979 comedy that has long since been forgotten and make it into a 21st century musical. (I don’t see anyone else lining up to do a musical of other comedies that I watched over and over again on HBO as a child, like Mr. Mom or Police Academy. If you’re a producer, call me.) Yet 9 to 5 has Dolly Parton’s mark all over it, from the opening monologue to the final musical note, and Dolly has a way of turning the ridiculous into credible fun. This endeavor of hers is more Dollyworld than Rhinestone. Continue reading

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Aug 25

Sweet Music: ALL SHOOK UP

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All Shook Up, Book by Joe DiPietro

Staring Joyce DeWitt

Directed by Russell Garrett
Music Director: Anne Shuttlesworth
Choreographer: Kiesha Lalama

North Shore Music Theatre
Beverly, Ma
August 14-26, 2012

North Shore Music Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Kate Lonberg-Lew

Elvis is tooling around the countryside when his motorcycle breaks down
and he finds himself stranded in repressed, naïve, small-town America. While his bike is being fixed by the town’s tomboy-teenage mechanic, he teaches the citizens how to let loose, love, and most importantly, rock out. This is the basis for the musical All Shook Up playing at the North Shore Music Theatre.
Continue reading

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Jul 20

Big Heart, Strings Showing: ANNIE

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Photo by Paul Lyden, Jacquelyn Piro Donovan and Lauren Weintraub.

Annie, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charmin, book by Thomas Meehan, North Shore Music Theatre, 7/17/12- 7/29/12, http://www.nsmt.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=971&Itemid=2320.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) Sometimes, when you shine a light on a worn-out plotline by staging a good production, you breathe new life into the script.  Other times, a strong production’s focus can make a threadbare script fall to pieces.  Continue reading

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Jun 14

Glittery, but Not Grabbing: HELLO DOLLY!

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“Hello, Dolly!” Jacquelyn Piro Donovan (Dolly Gallagher Levi) and the ensemble of North Shore Music Theatre’s production of HELLO, DOLLY! Photo by Paul Lyden

Hello Dolly!, book by Michael Stewart, music by Jerry Herman, North Shore Music Theatre, 6/12/12-6/24/12, http://www.nsmt.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=969.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

Since Elizabethan times, some plays have been built around the concept of a character as a force of nature.  As a playwright, it’s often a good strategy that allows a great actor to cover plotline foibles with a powerful performance.  But such a strategy also can backfire, because when your lead can’t will the play to life, a weak plot is exposed all the more.  Continue reading

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Dec 04

High-Voltage Holiday Cheer: A Christmas Carol: A Musical Ghost Story

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David Coffee (Ebenezer Scrooge) and Gordon Baird (Jacob Marley). Photo by Paul Lyden.

A Christmas Carol:  A Musical Ghost Story. adaptation by Jon Kimbell, North Shore Music Theatre, 12/2/11-12/23/11, http://www.nsmt.org/.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA)  

There are two types of Christmas displays you can create with those dangly lights from the hardware store.  You can hang a string or two on a bush or you can cover every inch of your home’s exterior with sequenced glitz that spells out the lyrics of “Jingle Bells” and blinks a tableau of Santa feeding a reindeer.  Either option can be beautiful or ugly, depending on how it’s done.

The same holds true with staging Charles Dickens’ A Christmas CarolContinue reading

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Nov 06

Lip-Gloss Feminism: Legally Blonde: the Musical

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Kelly Felthous (Elle Woods), Will Ray (Warner). Photo by Paul Lyden

Legally Blonde, music & lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, book by Heather Hach, North Shore Musical Theatre, 11/1/11-11/13/11,  http://www.nsmt.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=947&Itemid=2283.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA)  

Dear Reader,

Do you want the long review or the short one for Legally Blonde: the Musical at the North Shore Music Theatre?

If you’re in a hurry, here’s the short one:

I gave a standing ovation to a bulldog, the first creature to come out for curtain call.  Go see this show!

If you have a bit more time, Continue reading

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Oct 02

The King and I: Shall We Dance?

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Lorenzo Lamas (The King of Siam) and Kate Fisher (Anna). Photo by Paul Lyden

 

The King and I, Music by Richard Rogers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, North Shore Music Theatre, 9/27/11-10/9/11,  http://www.nsmt.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=940&Itemid=2275.

Reviewed by Leah White

(Beverly, MA) The North Shore Music Theatre’s The King and I opened this week with television, stage, and film star Lorenzo Lamas in the iconic role of the King, joined by Kate Fisher as the strong-willed widow and teacher, Anna Leonowens. Continue reading

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