Oct 09

Sass, Refined: “9 TO 5”

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

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

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!

“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

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

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?

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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