Friday, September 2, 2016

You Can Go Home Again

North Shore Music Theatre--Then and Now
In my last post, I shared the 'second chances' the 2016 season has offered me, opportunities to reprise roles I've had success in in the past.  No role has brought me more success than that of Sir Robin in Monty Python's Spamalot.  

Joining the First National tour of this Tony Award-winning Best Musical in the winter of 2007 was an incredible step up for me; over the course of 22 months and 682 performances I got to not only see much of North America, but to perform alongside stars I had considered idols as I was coming up in the profession: Gary Beach, Richard Chamberlain.  Being part of such a successful show in such a key role brought me a confidence I had never known before. The tour also was my first attempt at blogging and social media, and I blogged the entire tour weekly!  To visit my adventures on the road as Sir Robin, click here.  

George Rose in "Peter Pan"
Oddly, since the tour closed in 2009, I have not to date had the chance to play Robin again, despite numerous attempts to reprise the part at regional theaters around the country.  So, to return to the role this fall at North Shore Music Theatre has an even deeper significance for me.  Beverly, Massachusetts is the town where I grew up, and North Shore Music Theatre was always the hometown theatre.  My father, Don Beaman, as a set designer created scenery there when NSMT was part of the old summer stock circuit.  As a kid, already smitten with the stage, I went there on field trips.  The show I most remember seeing was Peter Pan starring Tovah Feldshuh, with George Rose as Captain Hook.  Rose made such an impression on me I can still see him in my mind's eye in his flamboyant costume and high heeled, buckled shoes, preening and rolling his 'r's-- implanting a dream to one day play that foppish villain myself.

As Max, with Jacquelynne Fontaine as Elsa
Ironically, in the six years I lived in Boston after college, working as a professional actor, I was never hired at North Shore.  I always wanted to work there, of course--there's nothing like being the hometown boy!  But it didn't happen until a few years ago.  My first show at NSMT happened in 2012, playing Rusty Charlie in an award winning Guys and Dolls.  The following season, director James Brennan offered me a bucket list role--Max in The Sound of Music, which truly was a remarkable production; the Independent Reviewers of New England nominated me for the IRNE Award for my performance.  

So, to say I am excited to be back in Beverly and performing in the round again at NSMT is an understatement.  My Mom lives a mile and a half from the theatre, and I have nieces and a nephew in town, and lifelong friends all around.  I will get to enjoy the transition into my favorite season in New England, the early autumn.  Nothing like sitting down to a steaming bowl of real deal clam chowder, in a cozy sweater, with a view of the water!!  If you will be in the North Shore area, come and have a belly laugh with the crazy knights of the roundtable in Monty Python's Spamalot at North Shore Music Theatre, September 27-October 9!