Thursday, July 08, 2010

NSMT Reopens, But New Works Will Have to Wait

The Boston Globe has a short feature about of the reopening of North Shore Music Theatre under the new owner Bill Hanney. North Shore's first show will be Gypsy. (above)

For now, NSMT is looking for proven hits, not gambles:

In the past the company has staged new musicals, including “Memphis’’ (in 2003), which won four Tony Awards this year. Hanney was in the audience at Radio City Music Hall last month when Broadway producer Randy Adams thanked North Shore Music Theatre for making “Memphis’’ possible.

“For me to now own the theater that has a place in Broadway history? I’m loving it,’’ Hanney gushes. “The next day the box office was on fire. Phones were ringing off the hook.’’

But developing new works is, at least for now, off the table. This year’s shows were selected for maximum hit potential, resulting in a lineup that stays in well-trod territory. Hanney, who is also a producer, points out that one clunker can break a whole subscription season. And subscribers are what North Shore Music Theatre needs. Since the company reached out in March to the 2009 season-ticket holders who lost their money when the theater closed, offering them the same seats, nearly 70 percent have renewed their subscriptions.

Another interesting note in the article: The full time staff has been streamlined from 57 to five.

Photo Credit: CATHERINE WALKER (Louise) and JAN NEUBERGER (Electra) in North Shore Music Theatre's Gypsy Photo by Paul Lyden

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