Two North Shore Shows
Move To Boston's Shubert Theatre

Seven Concerts Dropped From 2005 Season

The July 14 fire at North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly has been a challenge for management.

However, in the spirit of "the show must go on" -- Josiah A. Spaulding, Jr., President and CEO of The Wang Center for the Performing Arts, and Jon Kimbell, Artistic Director and Executive Producer of North Shore Music Theatre, have announced that two North Shore shows will move to The Shubert Theatre in Boston for their engagements.

"Abyssinia," a co-production with Goodspeed Musicals and sponsored by Arbella Insurance Group, will run at The Shubert from August 23 through September 11. "Camelot" will follow on September 20.

Additionally, the following previously announced concerts will not be seen in 2005:

August 5 - Ruben Studdard
August 6 - ABBA Gold
August 10 - Engelbert Humperdinck
August 11 - Kenny Rogers
August 13 - The Charlie Daniels Band
August 14 - The Beach Boys
August 28 - George Carlin

The August 12 children’s show, “Peter And The Wolf,” has also been cancelled.

Spaulding commented, “After hearing about North Shore Music Theatre’s fire, we offered The Shubert Theatre to them rent-free. Our mission at The Wang is ‘making art – making art possible’ and this commitment to NSMT is a way for us to do just that. Not only do they have a new temporary home, but it is also our hope that new audience members will discover NSMT’s work for the first time. In recent years, The Wang Center, a non-profit organization itself, has developed collaborative relationships with a number of non-profits, from co-producing shows, such as 'The Little Prince' with Boston Lyric Opera to 'Dance Across The City,' the Bank of America Celebrity Series; this is the first step in collaborating with NSMT.”

Based on the novel Marked By Fire by Joyce Carol Thomas, "Abyssinia" was co-written by composer Ted Kociolek and lyricist James Racheff. The story follows Abyssinia Jackson, a young black woman who is blessed with an angelic gospel voice and the amazing ability to heal. After a devastating tragedy, she loses her faith and begins a courageous journey of rediscovery and renewal.

Shannon Antalan will play the title role. She was last seen on Broadway in the critically acclaimed production of "Caroline, or Change." She was also seen in Boston playing Inez in the national tour of "Hairspray." Her other credits include productions of "Smokey Joe’s Cafe," "Ain’t Misbehavin’" and Disney’s "Hercules" among others.

The production will be directed by Stafford Arima who helmed North Shore's "Aida," "Smokey Joe’s Café" and "Ragtime." Mr. Arima’s recent credits include the award-winning off Broadway production of "Altar Boyz," the West End premiere and national tour of "Ragtime " and the recent productions of "Guys and Dolls" and "Ragtime" at Paper Mill Playhouse

In discussing the shift in theatres, Jon Kimbell commented, “We feel strongly that North Shore Music Theatre must continue to produce musical theater during this challenging time, and The Shubert Theatre provides us with a wonderful opportunity to do so. Through the generosity of Joe Spaulding and The Wang Center for the Performing Arts, we will be able to offer both our own patrons and Boston audiences two exciting productions as part of our 50th season.”

Kimbell indicated that North Shore Music Theatre and The Wang have been looking to collaborate on a project for several years, and current events at the Beverly theater jump started their plans.

Tickets for "Abyssinia" are available through at 800-447-7400, in person at the Shubert box office, 265 Tremont Street, or by visiting North Shore subscribers may call 978-232-7200.

Due to the shift in theatres, patrons currently holding tickets to "Abyssinia" at North Shore will need to switch their tickets for comparable seats at The Shubert Theatre. Current ticket holders will automatically receive a credit slip in the mail. Once received, that slip can be used to secure tickets for a performance at The Shubert Theatre, or to obtain a credit. Again, North Shore patrons with questions may call 978-232-7200.

Operating since 1955, NSMT has evolved into the largest non-profit producing theater in New England, serving approximately 400,000 patrons annually.

-- OnStage Boston


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