Saturday, December 09, 2017

"A Christmas Carol" - North Shore Music Theatre Continues Its Beloved Yuletide Tradition - Through December 23rd


Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" must be the most enchanting, beguiling, and beloved ghost story of all time. And the annual musical version of that tale produced by the NSMT has become a perennial MUST SEE for families throughout New England. This year marks the 27th anniversary of this production. The  people who call the shots at NSMT - Owner and Producer Bill Haney and Producing Artistic Director Kevin P. Hill - keep it fresh and excellent with a dynamic mixture of actors who have been with the production for many years, as well as a constant supply of fresh talent. The formula works to perfection.

As Ebenezer Scrooge, David Coffee is the twig of holly that stirs this steaming bowl of Bishop. Appearing in his 24th production of this play, he keeps getting better. His stature garners entrance applause from the appreciative audience. His dramatic changes from frowning miser to beaming born-again child eager for Christmas morning are mesmerizing. Other veterans who anchor this production are Leigh Barrett (17th year) as The Ghost of Christmas Past and Mrs. Cratchit, Cheryl McMahon (24th year) as Mrs. Dilber and Mrs. Fezziwig, and J.T. Turner (8th year) as Mr. Fezziwig.

David Coffee as Ebenezer Scrooge
"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens
North Shore Music Theatre
Through December 23rd
Photo by Paul Lyden
The rest of this gifted and enthusiastic cast include:
  • Peter S. Adams - The Ghost of Christmas Present
  • Ryan Mardesich - The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come and Young Scrooge
  • Freddie Kimmel - Jacob Marley
  • Tommy Labanaris - Narrator
  • Russell Garrett - Bob Cratchit
  • Will Geary and Brad Trump - Pearlie
  • Joy Clark - Belle
  • Andy Tighe - Fred
  • Matthew Chappell - Old Joe
  • Lianne Gennaco - Meg
  • Meliisa Mitchell- Ensemble
  • Cam Perrin - Peter Cratchit
  • Ian Shain - Dick Wilkins
  • Lorin Zackular - Ensemble
  • Jack Bolitho - London Boy
  • Scarlett Keene-Connole - Martha Cratchit
  • Anabel Moda - Belinda Cratchit
  • Asher Navisky- Boy Scrooge
  • Dylan Prime - London Boy
  • AJ Scott - TinyTim
  • Emilia Tagliani - Fan
This production was originally adapted by Jon Kimbell, who was recognized as being in the audience on Opening Night. Original music is by Alby Potts and James Woodland. Also recognized with a 25 year plaque was Jay Daly, who has been on trumpet and served a music contractor for a quarter of a century.

Jay Daly - 25 Years on Trumpet
"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens
North Shore Music Theatre
Through December 23rd
Photo by Paul Lyden
Scenic Design is by Howard C. Jones, Costumes by Paula Peasley-Ninestein, Lighting by Jack Mehler, Sound by Leon Rothenberg.

There are very limited tickets available for remaining performances, so if you do not want to find your family and friends proclaiming "Humbug" when you tell them you can't get tickets, go on line right now!


Tommy Labanaris as Narrator
AJ Scott as Tiny Tim
"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens
North Shore Music Theatre
Through December 23rd
Photo by Paul Lyden

God bless us, everyone!

Enjoy! And Merry Christmas!

Al

Monday, December 04, 2017

Actors'Shakespeare Project Presents "Julius Caesar" - An All Female Production - Through December 17th


Most of us are aware that for several generations, all roles in Shakespeare's plays were portrayed by men and boys - no girls allowed! So turn about is indeed fair play. Actors' Shakespeare Project, under the direction of Bryn Boice, are presenting their all female version of "Julius Caesar" at Huntington Theatre's Studio 210 through December 17th. Director Boice has made the choice, not only to cast all women in the roles, but also to transform character names into female equivalents. The audience is asked to imagine a science fiction motif, with the action taking place in some unspecified time in what feels like a very dark subterranean post-apocalyptic world. The result is an intriguing new look at the familiar action of ambition thwarted and political intrigue run amok.

Marya Lowry as Brutus
Liz Adams as Julius Caesar
Jade Guerra as Cimber
Julius Caesar"
Actors' Shakespeare Project
Directed by Bryn Boice
Huntington Theatre Studio 210
Through December 17th 


The cast is made up of some of the best of Boston actors.  The always impressive Liz Adams as Caesar sports punked-out blonde hair that made me think of Billy Idol in "White Wedding." After the assassination, Ms. Adams returns as Octavius Caesar, leading the charge to avenge the death of Julius. Marianna Bassham is impressive as Anthony, especially in delivering the iconic funeral oration. Marya Lowry is a powerful presence as Brutus, a reluctant participant in the plot to assassinate Caesar. The estimable Bobbie Steinbach forces us to look at the character of Cassius in new ways. MaConnia Chesser gives a refreshing down home patina to the character of Casca. Rounding out the universally strong cast as Julee Antonellis as Cicero, Erin Eva Butcher as Calpurnia, Jade Guerra as Metellus Cimber, and Charlotte Kinder as Portia.

Jade Guerra as Cimber
Liz Adams as Julius Caesar

Marya Lowry as Brutus
Julius Caesar"
Actors' Shakespeare Project
Directed by Bryn Boice
Huntington Theatre Studio 210
Through December 17th 


Set Design is by Cristina Todesco, Lighting by Jen Rock, Costumes by Rebecca Jewett, Sound by Amy Altadonna.

If you are familiar with this play, I invite you to make your way to Huntington Avenue and be prepared to see the familiar through different lenses and to hear the familiar lines spoken by different voices.

Through December 17th.

Actors' Shakespeare Project Website

Enjoy!

Al