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
Now I cannot say enough good things about Wednesday night’s show! It is a spectacle that needs to be seen to be believed. The first thing that caught my eye was the stage. I am always amazed at the simplicity of the props and basic design of the theater whenever I walk into the North Shore Music Theater (NSMT.) Now with that being said that is not a dis on the theater in any way in fact it is a wonderful thing! I find it absolutely amazing what the set designers and prop department are able to accomplish every time there is a new show in town. I would go into specifics but I feel that it is simply something that needs to be experienced firsthand. One thing that I will say however is that they certainly know how to bring a little tough of movie magic to the real world!
Now I must make the disclaimer that I had never seen the theatrical release of Singing in the Rain or any Broadway or Off-Broadway productions of this show before seeing this and I’m glad I hadn’t! With this being my first time witnessing this show it gave me the chance to be unbiased and not go into the show with any pre-conceived notions of what to expect.
NSMT has quite the cast for this production and they are all simply bursting with talent. We have Mark Evans that played Don Lockwood, Tessa Grady as Kathy Selden, Sean McGibbon as Cosmo Brown, Steve Brady as R.F. Simpson, David Coffee as Roscoe Dexter and of course Emily Stockdale as Lina Lamont.
Evans was nothing short of simply wonderful. He seemed to embody the charter of Mr. Lockwood perfectly. He brought so much light and obvious enjoyment to his charter I can’t see what there isn’t to love. Grady was amazing! Her voice was such a joy to listen to and she looked nothing short of at home on the stage. I swear there were sparks flying that night on stage between Evans and Grady. You could see the physical and emotional chemistry that those two share (even if it is just work related.) Brady was just great, it seemed as if he was born to play the role of R.F. Simpson. Brady was funny, energetic, cunning witty and fun. McGibbon who played Cosmo was fantastic! McGibbon was a fantastic choice for Mr. Brown’s character who is someone who is big into physical comedy and doesn’t seem to take life too seriously but has nothing but support and love for his closest friends. You could see just how much fun he was having on that stage all night through. Coffee is a NSMT legend he has been in over fifty productions with the theater. The role of Dexter was absolutely perfect for Coffee. He is the prefect embodiment of someone who knows what they want and just how to go and get it. Stockdale was great! I am not sure I have even seen someone strep into a character so effortlessly. I must also comment on the level of talent both musically and each and every one of them had with their foot work.
The dancing and singing was just amazing all around and after everything was said and done I remember thinking that I didn’t ever want the night to end. After seeing the NSMT’s rendition of singing in the rain I went back and actually watched the film (I felt it was a must!) After seeing the film, I truly felt that every actor and actress that was chosen for this production was nothing sort of perfect for each of their chosen roles. The ensemble truly brought this whole production together making it nothing short of a spectacle.
Story Written By: Nicole Lynne Wood
Wood Media Co-Owner/Staff Writer
A spoonful of sugar was not the only thing that there was an abundance of at the North Shore Music Theater tonight! Coming into the theater you are instantly struck by the simplicity of the props and scenery. No matter the simplicity you are quickly transported to Edwardian London circa 1910 and dropped off at the doorstep of the Banks family who are living on 17 Cherry Tree Lane.
Instantly you can see this family (that is quite the cast of characters) is in dire need of some assistance. You have the uptight father George Banks who is played by James Andrew Walsh (whose credits include but are not limited to the TV productions of “The family”, “Castle”, “Shine”, “Law and order SVU” and “law and Order Criminal Intent”) Walsh brought with him his obvious ease of being on stage and combined that with his unique acting style and a voice that cannot be forgotten.
The Meek and mild wife and mother Winifred Banks (who is struggling to find her way) is played by Molly Garner. Not only has molly portrayed this role before on the national tour but she has worked in such musicals as Billy Elliot, and Romeo and Juliet among many others. I was nothing short of impressed with molly’s lovely voice and her ability to simply embody a charter.
All Michael Banks wants is love and acceptance from his father and he is played by Jake Ryan Flynn who has held many roles at the NSMT as of late including last season’s smash hit Billy Elliot as well A Christmas Carol and Shrek from a few seasons ago. Flynn was nothing but adorable and perfect for the role of Michael whose character is sweet lovable and mischievous all rolled into one.
Scarlett Keene-Connole took to the role of Jane Banks who is the daughter with a big voice and much whit. She has been in many productions including but certainly not limited to NSMT’s own A Christmas Carol and Saturday Night Fever. Connole slipped into this role with such ease and sophistication that it blew my mind. She will no doubt be a name to look for when she gets older if she keeps up the hard work.
Of course you cannot forget about the strong and soulful powerhouse that is Jenelle A. Robinson. Robinson has come back to the North Shore Music Theater after 15 years away (she was in Carousel in 2001.) She has played in Oklahoma!, Thoroughly Modern Millie and the Broadway run of Mary Poppins including many more! She portrayed both Miss Andrew and Mrs. Corry. Robinson played both of these charters with such conviction and honesty that I honestly forgot that I was watching something of fiction and fantasy.
Then you have the two charters that stood out to me the most and those are Bert the fun loving deuteragonist played by Brad Bradley (The Broadway productions of Spamalot, The People in the Picture, Annie Get Your Gun (with Reba McEntire) and so many more!) who came across as having this role written specifically for him. When I first saw him sitting on one of the chimney stacks (as part of the opening number) not only did I love his look and thought his costumes was perfect but I was instantly in love with his voice! His opening number of “Chim, Chim Cheree” was so cheerful and exciting that I was instantly drawn into the world that is Mary Poppins without even trying. Every time Bradley came out on stage I became like a little kid, excited to open a new never seen before Christmas present because I knew that I was not going to be disappointed in the slightest.
Kerry Conte played the beloved and well-known charter Mary Poppins. Conte truly brought a little bit of magic and wonder to the theater tonight! Her costumes were on point and her voice was truly out of this world. There were a few instances that I found myself simply sitting in my seat and closing my eyes so I could really hear and understand the full magnitude that was her voice. I have never and I mean never seen or heard someone who looked like they were having more fun and truly loving what they were getting the opportunity to do than Conte.
Don’t even get me started on when Bradley and Conte were on stage together whether it was simply acting or singing that of a duet. Those two were a force to be reckoned with all night. You could see and feel the chemistry that those two had together and it was very refreshing to see. My two favorite musical numbers throughout the whole show had to be “Supercalifragilisticexpialidious” and “Step in Time”. The talent that ran throughout the cast when it came to the choreography was to die for!
I also must give major kudos to the entire crew at the NSMT. This production was completely flawless but the one thing that stood out to me the most was their ability to make Mary fly! When I saw her come down from the roof I was astounded. I really don’t think that this show could have gone any better. I would like to say thank you. Thank you for finally giving me a reason to enjoy what I get the opportunity to do and making me fall in love with what is musical theater once again. Lastly thank you for brining bit of magic to your stage and into my life if only for just a little while. The whole production was nothing short of spectacular.
Mary Poppins is running now through July 31st please don't miss your opportunity be part of the excitement and magic, you won't regret your choice in the slightest!
Written By: Nicole Lynne Wood
Wood Media Staff Writer
Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre opened their season last night with their performance of Funny Girl. The show was headlined by Shoshana Bean who has performed in so many hit Broadway shows and is also a award winning recording artist. The show also featured a few other great cast who were able to support her in her leading role.
The story of Funny Girl features Young Fanny Brice grows from poverty in New York's Lower East Side to become one of the stars of the Ziegfeld in the 1920s. She is helped on her journey by a flashy gambler. The show when it premiered featured music legend Barbara Streisand who’s voiced performed these amazing song’s "I'm the Greatest Star" (Fanny); "If a Girl Isn't Pretty" (Rose & Mrs. Strakosh); "Roller Skate Rag," "I'd Rather Be Blue Over You," "His Love Makes Me Beautiful," "People" (Fanny); "You Are Woman, I Am Man" (Fanny & Nick); "Don't Rain on My Parade," "Second Hand Rose," "Sadie, Sadie," "The Swan," "Funny Girl," "My Man" (Fanny) n the 1968 movie.
The NSMT performance however was very different from the movie. Now you know when your going into this it isn’t going to be Barbara Streisand on stage so that is a given. But Shoshana Bean was able to fill those shoes and then some. However other than Bean carrying the show the performance lacked any remarkable moments. For someone going into the story without any back story you could get lost until midway through the first act. Also the first act is very long to take it all in with all the different songs being performed. The supporting cast featured James Van Treuren as a handsome classy as Florenz Zigfield, Jr. Also the love interest of Fanny Brice was played by Bradley Dean and Fanny’s best friend Eddie was played by Rick Faugno.
Overall the show was lead by Shoshana throughout with her amazing voice and performing skills but the long interludes and low energy moments really made a lot of the audience at least where we were sitting time to check their watches. The show runs at NSMT now through June 19th. If you’re looking for a good attempt at a recreation of Funny Girl on the north shore give this a shot it might hit you In a spot that didn’t connect with us. To purchase tickets to this performance please visit www.NSMT.org . This may have been the season opener but Bill Hanney promised an amazing season and next up we will be covering the opening night of Mary Poppin’s which Bill let the crowd know there will be a lot of flying going on in the Theater in the Round.
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.