Accounting For North Shore

Officials at the historic North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Mass., say they have until Sunday, Jan. 31, to raise $500,000 or the venue will shutter, so state legislatures are stepping to the plate … with priceless advice.

State officials held a meeting at the theatre Jan. 23, telling theatre officials the state will bring in experts to help out with the financial crisis. But no money.

“The key thing was, ‘You’re not alone,’” state Rep. Ted Speliotis told the Salem News. “The message was really strong that the legislative delegation is supportive.”

State Rep. Mary Grant told the paper the state is offering “technical assistance” through the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

“The focus is to get this institution in a stable place going forward and have a plan for that,” she said. “The state doesn’t really have any money.”

Theatre officials have said the half-century-old facility will close unless it can raise the $500,000 by Jan. 31 and $4 million by late spring. The theatre has already laid off 57 employees.

The council will provide experts on nonprofit cultural institutions who can help the theatre assess its financial situation and formulate a business plan to help it right its financial ship.