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North Shore Music Theatre

240px-BeverlyMA_NorthShoreMusicTheatre

The Producers at North Shore Music Theatre

NSMT is thrilled to present the musical that won more Tony Awards than any other show in history. Based on the hit 1968 film, this Mel Brooks masterpiece is the story of a washed-up Broadway producer and his timid accountant who hatch a scheme to get rich quick by producing a sure-fire flop. It’s a comic tour-de-force that spoofs the big, old-fashioned Broadway musical while paying tribute to it at the same time. The Producters, originally directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, will leave you laughing out loud!

240px-BeverlyMA_NorthShoreMusicTheatreThe theater building in 2012

North Shore Music Theatre is the largest operating regional theater in New England. It is located in Beverly, Massachusetts and is one of the few remaining theatre-in-the-round stages left in the United States. The theater is owned by Massachusetts businessman Bill Hanney.

History

North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) was organized in 1954 by founders Stephan Slane and Ruby Newman. The theater “opened as a partstar-centered comedies.”  After route 128 was finished in the 1960s, permanent walls were constructed along with heating and air conditioning, and the capacity of the theater was increased from 1,000 to 1,750 and later 1,800 seats. The theater became the largest non-profit theater in New England, and up to 350,000 people attended the musicals performed each year. The theatre annually presented a series of celebrity concerts of children’s musicals. It also housed the Youth Performance Academy that provided an opportunity for child actors to perform. The theater produced the world premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis in 2003, as well as the regional premieres of HairsprayThoroughly Modern Millie,Ragtime, and many others.

The theatre suffered from a serious fire in 2005 and slipped into debt.  With debts totaling more than $10 Million Dollars in 2009, North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) officials announced that the financially distressed theatre had failed to raise $2 million in philanthropic commitments to fund a new business model and launch a 2009 season. Although more than $500,000 in pledges had been made since the theatre announced a turn-around strategy in mid April, not enough money was raised to save the season.  The planned productions were cancelled, and more than 4,000 people who had prepaid for tickets for the 2009 season were never refunded for their money.  The theatre closed in June 2009, NSMT’s debts included large mortgages on its property and buildings and debts to vendors, the State of Massachusetts, and subscribers who paid in advance for the 2009 Season. Theater officials were in discussions with its senior creditor and were reviewing the options available for liquidating and maximizing the value of the theatre’s assets, as well as identifying potential buyers of the property who might consider a lease back of the theatre.

The theatre was later acquired by Citizens Bank in October for $3.6 million (2009 USD). In November 2009, Bill Hanney, a Massachusetts investor and owner of Theatre-By-the-Sea and Entertainment Cinemas, a chain of 10 movie theaters in New England, looked to purchase the North Shore Music Theatre.  Hanney reached an agreement with Citizens Bank and with Producing Artistic Director, Evans Haile,(Producing Artistic Director of the historic Cape Playhouse) reopened the theatre under new ownership in the summer of 2010.

The theatre continues to thrive and grow under the ownership of Bill Hanney. and current Artistic Director Arianna Knapp, annually producing a 5-Show subscription series, in addition to its unique popular production of “A Christmas Carol.” The 2013 musical season will include, The Sound of MusicThe Wizard of OzCatsLa Cage aux Folles, and Miss Saigon.  NSMT will also offer a celebrity concert series, spring and summer children’s shows and educational workshops.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Shore_Music_Theatre

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