(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 →
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 →
(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 →
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 →
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.
(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 →