North Shore Reopens

The North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Mass., is reopening in July after a financial collapse prompted the cancellation of last year’s program and the facility’s sale.

The venue closed in June nearly $10 million in debt, angering fans that had lost money on season tickets. The 55-year-old theatre was bought for $3.6 million last month by William Hanney, who is reopening it July 6 with “Gypsy.”

Hanney believes he can turn a profit. He owns a summer theatre in Rhode Island and expects to share production costs between the two venues. He is also hiring a much smaller staff than the previous owners, North Shore Community Arts Foundation, which employed 58.

“The theatre is being reopened with five people,” he told the Salem News. “Monday morning we’ll have more people in answering phones [from ticket-buyers], but we’re not going back to that level of 58 people.

“We have a good team assembled,” Hanney added. “Collectively, they have 40-50 years of experience here. They know the theatre. They’ll all wear several hats. The house manager is also the box office manager. That’s what you have to do to survive these days.”

Noting that the theatre “is known for concerts as much as for Broadway musicals,” Hanney is bringing “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” “A Chorus Line” and “A Christmas Carol” to the 1,537-capacity venue.