On Sunday, Dec. 9, Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) honored two cast members, David Coffee (Ebenezer Scrooge) and Cheryl McMahon (Mrs. Dilber), both celebrating their 25th appearance in the holiday show, “A Christmas Carol.”
Following the 2 p.m matinee performance on Sunday, Dec. 9, citations were presented on stage to both recipients by State Representative, Jerry Parisella and; on behalf of Senator, Joan Lovely’s office, by Chief of Staff Johanna Wakelin and Director of Constituent Services, Hannah Mori. Following the performance, nearly one hundred guests gathered at NSMT’s Backstage Bistro for a celebratory dinner in honor of the recipients.
“This year’s production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ is even more festive than ever before. This year we are celebrating two beloved cast members, David Coffee and Cheryl McMahon, who are both marking their twenty-fifth appearance in the show,” said NSMT’s owner and producer Bill Hanney. “With each passing year, we look forward to watching them perform together on stage. We are never disappointed with the new ways they find to make us laugh, and cry, and fill us with the spirit of the holidays!”
Sunday night’s post show celebration was filled with heartfelt stories that had guests in tears as we listened to sentiments shared by Owner/Producer, Bill Hanney; the show’s creator, Jon Kimbell, NSMT’s Producing Artistic Director and Director/Choreographer of the show, Kevin P. Hill, NSMT Staff, Cast members, former trustees and patrons.
“Both David and Cheryl were incredibly moved listening to the impact their portrayals of these iconic figures have left on our community. We surprised both David and Cheryl, as well as Bill Hanney with official A Christmas Carol bathrobes and presented David and Cheryl with beautiful crystal sculptures with customized holograms of their characters,” said NSMT’s General Manager, Karen Nascembeni.
Jon Kimbell said, “Hiring David Coffee was the smartest move of my entire career.” Director/Choreographer, Kevin P. Hill said, “I can’t imagine doing this show without David, or, Cheryl, and I hope I never have to.”
In their thank you speeches, Cheryl McMahon closed by saying, “I want to make it clear that this is not a retirement party. David, I’m in for another 25 years. What about you?”
David Coffee gave an emotional speech reflecting on his long history in performing this role, but, somberly reflecting on his Mother’s absence, “This would have meant so much to Mother, who, I so wish was with us tonight. I know she is in spirit. My dear friend, Pat Burke is wearing her sweater and Cheryl is wearing her jewelry. I know she’s looking down on us this evening with joy and pride.”
Based on the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol” is an original adaptation by former NSMT Artistic Director Jon Kimbell and members of the NSMT staff, following Ebenezer Scrooge through a series of strange and magical ghostly encounters, where he ultimately discovers the true spirit of the holiday season. With dazzling special effects that have grown even more exciting over time, traditional and original songs, and colorful costumes, “A Christmas Carol” has become a holiday favorite throughout New England having been seen by more than one million people since 1989.
NSMT audience favorite, David Coffee, returns for his twenty-fifth year playing Ebenezer Scrooge. “A Christmas Carol” also features Leigh Barrett (The Ghost of Christmas Past, Mrs. Cratchit), Peter S. Adams (The Ghost of Christmas Present, Gentleman 1), Ryan Mardesich (The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, Young Scrooge), Freddie Kimmel (Jacob Marley), Tommy Labanaris (Narrator), Russell Garrett (Bob Cratchit), Cameron Hobbs (Pearlie), Parker Krug (Pearlie), Joy Clark (Belle), Andy Tighe (Fred), Cheryl MCMahon (Mrs. Dilber/ Mrs. Fezziwig), J.T. Turner (Mr. Fezziwig/Gentleman 2), Bobby Conte (Old Joe, Ensemble), Lianne Gennaco (Meg, Ensemble), Allsun O’Malley (Ensemble), Ian Shain (Dick Wilkins, Ensemble), and Janelle Yull (Ensemble).
The cast of 27 actors also feature many local young performers including Isabella Carroll (Belinda Cratchit), Jake Ryan Flynn (London Boy), Jospeh Flynn (London Boy), Asher Navisky (Peter Cratchit), Grace Olah (Fan), Cam Perrin (Ensemble), AJ Scott (Tiny Tim), and Nicole Talbot (Martha Cratchit), and Wade Gleeson Turner (Boy Scrooge).
The creative team for “A Christmas Carol” includes Kevin P. Hill (Director and Choreographer), Milton Granger (Music Direction), Howard C. Jones (Original Scenic Design), Kelly Baker (Costume Coordinator and additional Costume Design), Jack Mehler (Lighting Design), Leon Rothenberg (Sound Design), Natalie A. Lynch (Production Stage Manager), Dakotah Wiley Horan (Assistant Stage Manager), and Robert L. Rucinski (Assistant Music Director). Flying effects are provided by ZFX, Inc. A CHRISTMAS CAROL is produced for North Shore Music Theatre by Bill Hanney (Owner/Producer), Kevin P. Hill (Producing Artistic Director), and Matthew Chappell (Associate Producer, Casting Director).
Throughout the run of “A Christmas Carol” NSMT is collecting toys in the lobby for Tiny Tim’s Toy Drive. NSMT will be accepting unopened, unwrapped toys for boys and girls ages 2 – 12. All toys will be donated to Toys for Tots.