Amid all the controversy The North Shore Music Theatre opened their latest show last night entitled Evita. This show for those not familiar with this show Evita is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. It concentrates on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón. The story follows Evita's early life, rise to power, charity work, and eventual death. The North Shore Music Theatres rendition of this performence was spectacular and beautiful.
The North Shore Music Theatre’s performance showcased an amazing cast with talented voices and acting ability as you have come to expect from the NSMT. The opening scene of the show has them at home in their living room learning about the death of Eva Peron who is played by Briana Carlson-Goodman. In this opening scene they really focus on what is the prelude to the end of the show and then they take you right into the story of how it happened.
There is a funeral scene at the start of the performance however I was really hoping the casket would be a clear one so that you could actually see her inside as if it was sort of a really public display of the body. However then rendition of the rest of the show from the traveling around the world to the scenes when she is a young woman having men come to her home all the time was spot on and the casting for this show was great.
Before this show even got off the ground there was a bit of a controversy going around social media surrounding NSMT not electing to pick a Latino person to portray Che who is played by American Idol star Constantine Maroulis. However, there wasn’t any protestors at the opening night of the show and the show seemed to have a well-attended crowd on hand.
Amid a world of brutal, unpleasant military types, you’re inclined to cheer her progress, and yet something checks you – and it’s not just the lurking, cynical, incongruous presence of the narrator “Che” (the revolutionary Che Guevara who’s played here with one-note heavy seriousness by Contantine maroulis). It’s as if Lloyd Webber and Rice are so ambivalent about whether Evita is a good soul underneath her populist airs and graces that she’s kept at one remove.
The air of hollowness around her is passed off as a critique of the smoke-and-mirrors world of politics but it makes for quite arid viewing. We’re left with roughly six fantastically portrayed songs – among them the anthemic Don’t Cry for Me Argentina – in search of an all-consuming drama. You may end up feeling that the show’s heart is in the right place – and that Evita’s was too. But it’s a close call.
The North Shore Music Theatre’s show Evita plays now through October 8th, 2017 at the theatre in Beverly Massachusetts. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.NSMT.org . Coming up next at the Music Theatre is 42nd Street opening October 28th.
Story Covered by: Mark Allen Wood
Wood Media Staff Writer/Co-Owner
Beauty and the Beast recently opened at the North Shore Music Theatre to a packed house! Now there has not been much speculation as to how this production would fair. It was suspected that it would be very successful due to the recent release of the live-action version by the same title and it seems to be shaping up to do just that.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you are going into this expecting to see a hollywood style production you are going to be sorely disappointed however if you are willing to keep an open mind and allow for some artistic interpretation I think you will be quiet pleased. I must say that for the most part I was very impressed by the production as a whole from the cast to the wardrobe it was all very well thought out.
The cast had some very good and for the most part very solid choices.While I won’t touch on all of the cast members there were a few that did stand out in my mind for various reasons. Rose Hemingway played Belle. While Rose’s voice was good and that is nothing short of the truth I cannot say that I was blown away by her performance. I felt as if (every time I heard her sing)that I was left waiting for something more something to move me something to wow me.
Steven Cerf played that Beast and boy can that man sing! He was recently in the Broadway/Tours The Jersey Boys and I have to say I LOVED his voice. There was so much power and command when he sang that it made me shiver in the best way possible.
David Coffee played Maurice and I just love whenever this man comes to the stage. You can see the passion and the joy that he has for what he does. He just looks like he is having a good old time. His voice fit what I had in mind for this character (barring any preconceived notions) from the nationally recognized voices/actors that were chosen for the roles in both productions (both animated and live action.)
I just adored who they chose to play the role of Gaston. Oh my, my, my was he the perfect choice for this role. What can I say about Taylor Crousore? His voice had a commanding presence about it. Not only did he look like he was having a grand old time on stage but to me he was Gaston and there were no ifs ands or buts about it. I honestly can’t say much more about it because for me between the actor and the character he was chosen to play the two well they just worked together.
Lumiere, Lumiere, Lumiere! Oh my how I loved this character! They chose Benjmin Howes to played this character and I was nothing short of in love with him and how he portrayed his character from the moment he stepped on stage. I was truly blown away by his vocal talent and just his ability to truly step into the “shoes” of a character and really become the part. It certainly doesn’t hurt that I could listen to him song all night long!
Lastly They had many things down pat that I was not expecting when tt came to set production and costume design. I could go on and on about the wonderful actors and set design that they had in this production but I don’t want to get into all of the details simply because you really should see it for yourself I think that you will leave there feeling like you were part of a wonderful journey to a far off place.
The show runs now thru July 29th, 2017 and tickets can be purchased at the NSMT.org or by visiting the Box Office.
Written By: Nicole Lynne Wood
Wood Media Staff Writer/Editor
Beverly MA: The Historic Cabot Theatre brought a sell out crowd to the north shore to see hilarious comedian and musician Mario Cantone. For those of you unfamiliar with Mario he is an American comedian, writer and actor, with numerous appearances on Comedy Central including Chappelle's Show. He also played Anthony Marentino on Sex and the City. His style is fast-paced and energetic, with much of his humor coming from his impersonations of various characters ranging from his family members, to celebrities, to stereotypes.
During his appearance at The Cabot last night he brought his A game right from the start of the show and didn’t stop. Being a Massachusetts native he made sure to let the crowd know that he is the next best thing out of Stoneham other than Olympic figure skater Nancy Karigan. His show brought a unique presentation of comedy and music which the show also featured a full band on stage.
He opened the show with a sort of jazz musical number and then went right into comedy that can only be described as “hilariously funny”. He covered a variety of topics ranging from the President Trump Family to Kaitlyn Jenner. His voices that he was able to cover was simple amazing as he was able to go deep into his heart and perform some amazing some from many famous musicians. At the end of the show he ended up performing an encore for the local crowd and he even mentioned to them that he doesn’t usually do them. His encore included him bringing out his best Bruce Springsteen and performed some of his great hits to send the crowd home happy.
I must say that he was a man that was able to take control the of the stage and keep you engaged for the entire show which last roughly about an hour and half. Many times you go to a one man comedy act and they have to keep checking their notes. However Mario brought it and was able to keep you on the edge of your seat and almost in tears because he was so funny. When Mario heads to your town this is one show that you don’t want ot miss and prob one that you’ll want to bring the entire family too.
Story Written & Covered By: Mark Allen Wood
Wood Media Staff Writer
2017 season kicked off with a bang at Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre. The theatre opened up the season with one of America’s most beloved musical’s The Music Man. For those of you who don’t know the story of The Music Man. The story is In the early summer of 1912, aboard a train leaving Rock Island, Illinois, Charlie Cowell and other traveling salesmen engage in a heated argument about consumer credit. The conversation eventually turns to another topic: a con man known as "Professor" Harold Hill, whose scam is to convince parents he can teach their musically disinclined children to play musical instruments. On the premise that he will form a band, he takes orders for instruments and uniforms. But once the instruments and uniforms arrive and are paid for, he skips town without forming the band, moving on before he is exposed.
The North Shore Music Theatre's rendition of the show was amazing as you’d always expect to come from this great theatre and artistic director Kevin P. Hill. The theatre opens up their show with a group of salesmen on a train who are sort of rapping along the rails in a great set of musical theatre storytelling. They made you feel as if you were really riding the train and it was a great way to showcase the talents of the entire cast as each of them had to carry each other through this act. Once you were done with Act 1 the show kept rolling along and the storytelling just got better and better. Although there were a few acts in the first half of the show that I thought road along a little too long. The overall end of the first act allowed the cast which was led by Matt Loehr and Siri Howard really made you feel like you went back in time and were experiencing this entire show with them.
The voices of the entire cast were something that the NSMT is always great at finding.I feel that once the second half of the show starting to go full steam ahead it was nothing but pure genius storytelling and musical theatre. The entire audience was brought to their feet when the youngest actor on the cast who played Winthrop got his chance to shine. Ben Choi-Harris did a small little song and solo which a lisps that only a pure genius actor could perfect. Overall I think every member of the cast perfected their rolls and that they should all be proud of the work they did in this performance. I honestly went into this show questioning if I was going to be able to enjoy it and understand it. However I am able to say that the show was very enjoyable and anyone of all ages with think this show is a fun and exciting ride through small time life in America.
Tickets for this amazing show can be purchased by visiting www.NSMT.org and the show runs now through June 18. For more information on the North Shore Music Theatre please visit www.NSMT.org.
Story Written/Covered By: Mark Allen Wood
Wood Media Staff Writier
Last night at 9 Wallis in historic downtown Beverly Boston comedy star and host of the MIX 93.1FM Morning Show, Chris Zito teamed up with the Boston's World Gone Crazy Comedy Band for ONE NIGHT ONLY in BEVERLY to help raise money for the Jimmy Fund Walk Team: Maurine, Cindy, Paul and Patrick's Troopers. Gimme Live of Beverly produced this show. The show was very entertaining as the World Gone Crazy Comedy Band opened up the show with a great set of hits showcasing the irrelevant and not understandable music tour which featured a lot of great hits by artist you can’t understand. This was followed by Chris Zito who put on an amazing comedy set which featured jokes ranging from celebrating Mother’s Day to talking about how he was married twice and is about to take another spin at it. One thing that stood out during the entire show was the fact that everyone there was there to support a great cause and that is to support the Jimmy Fund Walk Team of Maurine, Cindy, Paul and Patrick’s troopers. The 9 Wallis venue is a nice location to see this type of comedy show as it gives you a great feel of a stand up club in LA. This show was just a tremendous show of support for such a great cause and if you would like more information on how you can help visit
Mark Allen Wood
Wood Media Staff Writer
The Larcom Theater in downtown Beverly, MA has new ownership and it is nothing but a great thing! Saturday night the Larcom Theater brought a little piece of history back home. Saturday February 11th 2017 the theater held it first Vaudeville style show since the early Twentieth century. For those of you that are not familiar with this style of entertainment a Vaudeville show is a style of entertainment that includes a variety of different types of talent including but not limited to song, dance, comedy and magic among many others. The show included nine acts and each had their own style and presence on stage for sure!
Of the nine acts that performed three of them were my absolute favorites and just blew my mind of what I was expecting. Cape Ann Improv was up first and I always say that the first act has it cut out for them when it comes to warming up the crowd however; I was quite impressed with what they had to offer the audience. Since it was the weekend before Valentine’s Day, they came out swinging with a game full of audience participation. This game was for the audience to provide some of their first names and the group had to create two-minute romantic movie scenes based on the first letters of some of the names that they were given. It was a great start to the night.
The show also featured four comedians who all came out and entertained the crowd with nothing but laughs and enthusiasm. The comedic MC host for the evening Sterling Smith sort of lead the charge with her unique style of personal comedy and discussion which got the crowd going. This was followed up by local comic WIll Martin. Will Martin is a comic we have seen before when we hosted the North Shore’s Last Comic standing contest and let me say he is funny and there was some definite improvement with his set and timing. He did still seem a little nervous however, the fact that he did not let his nerves get the best of him was great to see. He is funny with a real world perspective that not many of us are willing to invite into our daily lives. The other two comics featured on the show were Susanne Boitano who came out and gave us a great set which showed she had experience around the comedy scene. The last comic Jere Pilapil just made me happy to be where I was. He was full of energy, engaging and downright funny. His take on life and relationships made me feel like he was talking directly to me and that is a wonderful thing. If you have the chance to see him, perform I would say go if you can (for sure.)
The only musical act for the night was The Venus Mars Project and I cannot say enough good things about this duo. They normally perform with a full band however that night only the two lead vocalists came out and it was stunning to watch and listen to them perform together. Their names are Jacyn Tremblay and Peter Tentindo. I could listen to the two of them for hours. They sung a combination of covers and originals. I found Peter’s voice to be strong and powerful while still elegant and Jacyn’s voice was simply hauntingly beautiful that packed a serious punch when it came to those high notes.
The show also featured two different types of performances which haven’t been seen in Beverly in many many years or never even seen before the and This brings me to the more racy part of the evening when Betsey Feathers came to the stage. This group had women of all shapes and sizes and that is respectable for sure (showing that there is not just one type of women on this planet.) I think that it was a solid performance and that those girls had some moves. They wow’d the crowd and defiantly showed that this could help bring the younger generation into the art’s in downtown Beverly which has never been seen at theaters in the area before. The second act that was unique was Seiren of the circle was an act consisting of a woman and a hula-hoop. Now while I cannot hula-hoop to save my life and most likely look like a drunken toddler trying to do so I do realize that this is a talent for sure. She had a solid performance and gave a new spin on hula hoop dancing.
Lastly, I want to talk about the only magical act that they had for the evening and I LOVED him! His name was Ben Pratt and I thought that he was engaging, silly, funny and fun. I found his act to be rather quick (and I am not sure if it is because some of the other acts ran longer than expected) however even though this could have been a definite downfall for Ben I think that he used his allotted time wisely and kept the audience interested as it was getting later in the evening. I was very impressed with that he had to offer and would go see him again in a second and highly recommend that anyone who has the chance do the same.
All and all I think this show was the best value for your buck as in terms of what you get for what you're paying the show had 9 acts and tickets were at a really low price. Compared to other events going on in the city at the same time this show gave you everything you could expect and more. The show ran for about 2.5 hours which is not seen anywhere else and I think this could be a huge success going forward. Congrats, to everyone involved in putting this show together. The hard work, dedication and passion did not go unnoticed whatsoever.
For more information on the Larcom Theatre visit: www.LarcomTheatre.com.
Written by Nicole Wood
(Co-Owner and Staff Writer/Editor)
For one night a sellout crowd of over 800 at the Cabot was transformed back to the 1960s for one night to hear some of the greatest music ever by the best band ever the Beatles. The music came in the form of the Fab Four a.long time and popular tribute band. They just did a stint at the MGM in Vegas.
The show starts with a comedian who does a few skits dressed as Ed Sullivan, he looks the part but the motions were a bit over the top. But more importantly he introduces the band to stage.
Believe me these guys sound and look like the real thing. They start out with suits invoking those famous tv appearances and play such classics as I Want To Hold Your Hand, All My Loving, Eight Days A Week, Help and A Hard Days Night. They had the crowd in a rapture who loved it all.
After the intermission they turned to the later years of the catalog and came out dressed in the Sgt Pepper look that is so iconic for the Beatles. Brought the house down with incredible versions of Strawberry Fields Forever and A Day in the Life. The second half even gave “Ringo” and “George” a chance to shine on With A Little Help From My Friends and a medley of While My Guitar Gently Weeps/ Something/Here comes the Sun.
As the night ended “John” did his most ironic song Imagine, yes a solo song, but was fitting in today's world and crowd enjoyed it immensely. Then Hey Jude by “ Paul” closed out the proceedings but not before the crowd joining in on the famous sing along at the end.
It was a wonderful night had by all including the lads from Liverpool err i mean The Fab Four. I highly recommend you see them if they come your way. And they said they will be back in the area this summer. Also don't be surprised if they come back to the Cabot soon as well.
Story Written & Covered by:
Last night in Beverly Massachusetts Music Sensation and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer sold out another show of well over 800 fans to celebrate the holidays in only a way she could Darlene took the stage just a little bit after 8 and the moment she took the stage the crowd roar with excitement. Darlene Love returned for the second year in a row to the historic Cabot Center for Perofmring Art's.
Darlene brought her hit touring show Rock with Holiday’s with Darlene Love to Beverly, of which this show is her only Boston area performance this year. Darlene Love was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 and she was featured in "20 Feet From Stardom" in 2013. In 2014, that documentary won an Academy Award and Darlene was featured from the Dolby Theater stage on the Academy Awards Show. As she raised the Oscar, the entire house stood with a cheering ovation lead by the wildly applauding Bill Murray.
The crowd in Beverly got to hear many hits’ that Darlene has become famous for including her version of Marshmallow World” and David Letterman’s favorite Christmas song “Baby Please Come Home”. Darlene’s performance cannot however be done without her amazing band which features talents who play procession and bass to the drums and the saxophone. Plus the crowd also get to hear the voice of her backup singers who at one point during the show Darlene left the stage to let them showcase their talents which is very humble of her to do. The crowd roared as her backup male singer sang one of the most amazing versions of “O’ Holy Night” that honestly as writing this that I have ever heard. Darlene informed the crowd that he was the choir director at her church but “There wouldn’t be enough room in her church for all of us to come here him sign at once, but we would have to take turns coming on down to New York”
Overall Darlene Love didn't disappoint the city of Beverly Massachusetts again as she rocked the night with many hit's that got the folks out of their chairs and dancing in the aisles. If you haven't experienced a show with Darlene Love you don't know what your missing and if she returns to Beverly next year you have to checkout her amazing performence. Darlene informed the audience that during her show she just turned 75 years young and as long as god let's her she will continue to entertain crowds until the day she moves on.
Darlene Love brought the house down at The Cabot again this year after showcasing how this small theatre in the small city has turned itself around and now can showcase many large name talents throughout the year. For more information on The Cabot Center for Perfroming Art's please visit www.TheCabot.org as new names are being added everyday for their upcoming shows.
Mark Allen Wood
Wood Media Staff Writer
On Friday November 25th 2016 The Larcom Theatre in Beverly Massachusetts welcomed Jon Stetson. Jon is known primarily for his involvement with the CBS television show The Mentalist. Stetson was the inspiration for the television show which is based on his real life experiences.
Walking into the theatre on Friday night I had no idea what to expect. I figured that it would be some strange and confusing mash up of bad magic and lack-luster humor. However I must say that not only was I wrong but I was pleasantly surprised in the process. Stetson engaging and downright funny. I could not have been happier to spend my Friday night utterly belly laughing and unable to look away in fear that I may miss something.
One thing that I found fascinating was Jon’s ability to instantly connect with the audience. I have been to many shows from music concerts, to comedy shows and everything in between and have seen many seasoned acts fail at when attempting to get and keep the audience's attention. Jon had this way about him the only way I can accurately describe it is just how personable he was.
I wish that I could write an explanation of how he does what he does but I just can’t. Yes I do have a degree in psychology and could easily explain how he may use body posture or eye glances or someone's general disposition to help him determine how he may be closer to one answer to a question or another however I cannot tell you for the life of me how he would know the exact serial number of a $1.00 bill that was sitting in someone's wallet of whom he has never met before.I can also not determine how he knew the name of a man as well as the exact location of whom a woman kissed over 30 years ago in elementary school. Now I know what you are thinking “Simple, he must have conversed with them at some point before or after the show but I promise you other than asking a few people to be involved (at random) he had no prior contact with the audience.
All I can say is that I was pleasantly surprised with his presentation and that the Larcum Thaetre was lucky to have him perform. Anyone who has the opportunity to see him perform live should most definitely do so. You’ll be glad that you did!
Story written by: Nicole Lynne Wood
Wood Media Staff Writer
This past Wednesday night the North Shore Music Theatre surprised the audience with their amazing rendition of Monty Pythons Spamalot. From the minute the actors took the stage to the minute they left they had the audience laughing with excitement and some even crying so hard because of the entertainment. Spamalot, which is playing at NSMT until October 9th, was a show that you couldn’t describe what you were seeing unless you were there.
The cast in this performance featured Ai Bundonis who played King Arthur and for those who have seen other shows at the theatre this season his portray of King Arthur was simply entertaining. He was co-starred by Haley Swindal who also is an NSMT alum from last season which she play Cindy in Saturday Night Fever. Her voice echoed through the theatre and brought chill’s to everyone because of how perfect she was able to hit the high notes on many songs. James Bearman who made his return to his hometown stage and Sean Bell who brought his HBO experience to the NSMT stage performed other great acting in this performance.
The North Shore Music Theatre’s edition of this show was very creative and the fact that they added many relevant current events to the show made it seem as if you were at a broadway musical and yet you felt like you were at a stand up comedy show. This show is one that shouldn’t be missed by anyone even if your not a fan of the Monty Python comedy style Bill Hanney brought his own touch and feel to the show and even helps out in the performance to find the Holy Grail.
Monty Python’s Spamalot plays at the North Shore Music Theatre until October 9th 2016 so head on over today and get your tickets for this surprise hit of the 2016 season. For more information on NSMT visit www.NSMT.org.
Story Written by: Mark Allen Wood
Wood Media Staff Writer
Wood Media Theater Reviewers are a husband and wife team which includes Mark & Nicole Wood of Beverly.