The line-up includes classic musicals, revues and a world premiere. The season begins with Jerry Herman's Mame, which features a book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Based on the famed novel by Patrick Dennis, Mame will play NSMT April 29 through May 18. The Herman score boasts such standards as "If He Walked Into My Life," "We Need a Little Christmas," "Bosom Buddies" and the title tune. Angela Lansbury created the title role on Broadway to Tony-winning effect. The musical also nabbed 1966 Tonys for supporting actors Frankie Michaels and Bea Arthur.
The songs of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller will be featured in the next North Shore offering, the long-running Broadway revue Smokey Joe's Cafe. Featuring such chart toppers as "Stand By Me," "On Broadway," "Hound Dog," "Love Potion Number 9" and "Jailhouse Rock," Smokey Joe's will begin its run at NSMT June 3 and conclude June 22.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's international hit Cats — based on T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" — will slink its way into the North Shore Music Theatre July 8. Broadway's longest-running musical will charm audiences through Aug. 3. Lloyd Webber's score includes "The Rum Tum Tugger," "Mr. Mistoffelees," "Jellicle Cats" and, what is perhaps his best known song, "Memory." The Broadway production opened at the Winter Garden Theatre on Oct. 7, 1982, playing 7,485 performances before closing there Sept. 10, 2000. The musical won seven Tony Awards including those for Best Musical and Best Score. Betty Buckley, who introduced "Memory" on Broadway, also received a Tony for her performance as Grizabella.
Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures, which explores the emotions experienced during Japan's Westernization, will play NSMT Aug. 26-Sept. 14. The musical debuted at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre on January 11, 1976, and ran for 193 performances. Originally directed by Hal Prince, the work features a book by John Weidman and additional material by Hugh Wheeler. Pacific Overtures was voted Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics' Circle and also earned nine Tony nominations, winning two: Best Costume Design (Florence Klotz) and Best Scenic Design (Boris Aronson). Sondheim's score includes "The Advantages of Floating in the Middle of the Sea," "There Is No Other Way," "Four Black Dragons," "Chrysanthemum Tea," "Poems," "Welcome to Kanagawa," "Someone in a Tree," "Lion Dance," "Please Hello," "A Bowler Hat," "Pretty Lady" and "Next."
The world premiere of Joe DiPietro's new musical, Memphis, is scheduled for a fall debut at the North Shore. With music and additional lyrics by David Bryan, the musical concerns a white Memphis deejay who decides to play African-American music for his 1940's white listeners. Inspired by the life of Dewey Phillips, Memphis will begin performances Sept. 23 and conclude its run Oct. 12. DiPietro is the author of the long running Off-Broadway hit, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. The 2003 season will conclude with the classic Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim-Arthur Laurents musical West Side Story. Running Oct. 28 through Nov. 23, West Side Story features a hit parade of tunes, including "Tonight," "America," "I Have a Love," "Somewhere" and "I Feel Pretty."
The North Shore Music Theatre is located in Beverly, MA at 62 Dunham Road. Call (978) 232-7200 for more information or visit the theatre on-line at www.nsmt.org.