The stars - and a sold-out crowd of 650 loyal supporters - braved another New England winter storm to attend the North Shore Music Theatre's Save Our Theatre benefit on Tuesday, February 3 at the elegant Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, Massachusetts. The evening, hosted by venerable stage veteran and NSMT crowd pleaser David Coffee, exceeded expectations, raising $45,000 for the beleaguered musical theater landmark.
Performers lending their voices to the benefit included special guest stars George Dvorsky and Dick Decareau, taking their night off from the Boston stop of the national tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to support one of their favorite regional theaters. Dvorsky has starred at NSMT as Petruchio in Kiss Me, Kate and Harold Nichols in The Full Monty. Decareau also appeared in Kiss Me, Kate as Baptista and most recently stole audiences' hearts as Wilbur Turnblad opposite Paul Vogt as Edna in Hairspray.
Also singing a hopeful tune for the cause were local and national NSMT alums Peter S. Adams, Gordon Baird, Leigh Barrett, Maureen Brennan, Mary Callanan, Andrew Giordano, Cassandra Marsh, Robert Saoud, and Kathy St. George. The NSMT Orchestra led by Jay Daly also performed, as did the theater's Youth Performance Academy's Rising Stars David Lucey, Alexandra Nader, and Presilah M. Nunez.
Efforts to raise the $4 million needed to mount the 2009 season at the 55-year-old Beverly, Mass. theater-in-the-round continue in New York City next week with benefit concerts at Joe's Pub on February 9 and The Theatre at Saint Peters on February 10. Broadway's Aaron Lazar and Robert Newman of CBS-TV's The Guiding Light are among the many notable NSMT veterans appearing these two nights. For more information or tickets please call the NSMT Box Office at 978-232-7200 or visit www.nsmt.org.
PHOTOS by Jan Nargi