Romance on the sun-baked island of Crete blossoms Oct. 2-21 in the North Shore Music Theatre's revival of Zorba, the flavorful John Kander-Fred Ebb musical.
Tony Award-winner Ron Holgate (1776, Lend Me a Tenor and the revival of Kiss Me, Kate) stars as the hedonistic title character, who teaches a young man, Nikos (played by Franc D'Ambrosio), to drink life to the dregs. Zorba flirts with his lover, an aging courtesan, Madame Hortense, played by Anita Gillette (Mr. President, Chapter Two, All American). Glory Crampton plays the Widow in the darkly romantic musical based on the Nikos Kazantzakis novel, "Zorba the Greek."
Richard Sabellico directs. Official opening at the Beverly. MA, theatre is Oct. 4. Olympia Dukakis and Louis Zorich were originally announced for the staging, but had to pull out due to scheduling conflicts.
Danny Buraczeski choreographs. Darren R. Cohen is musical director. Designers are Kendall R. Smith (lighting), Gail Baldoni (costumes) and James Morgan (set).
Tickets range $18-$56. North Shore Music Theatre is at 62 Dunham Road in Beverly, MA. For information, call (978) 232-7200 or visit www.nsmt.org. *
Zorba was the signature role of later actor Anthony Quinn, who starred in the non-musical 1965 film. The 1968 stage musical, with a book by Joseph Stein and direction by Harold Prince, was not a hit, but sunk into the theatregoing conscious when Quinn toured a slightly rewritten revival of the show in the 1980s. Quinn's performance was preserved on a cast recording of the stage show (which landed on Broadway in 1983-84). The original stars on Broadway were Herschel Bernardi and Maria Karnilova. A cast album also documents their work.
— By Kenneth Jones