Eddie Mekka in Anything Goes at NSMT
Eddie Mekka in Anything Goes at NSMT

BEVERLY -- It's hijinks on the high seas at North Shore Music Theatre as the 2014 season opens with a production of Cole Porter's Anything Goes.

The saucy tap-dance sizzler is on North Shore's well-known circular stage for two weeks, Tuesday, June 3, through Sunday, June 15.

"Following our successful 2013 season, I wanted to continue our tradition of opening the season with a beloved classic musical," said NSMT owner and producer Bill Hanney. "Working with our interim artistic director Tony Parise, we have put together a great creative team and cast, and I am confident that Anything Goes will kick off the season in high style."

The musical, set on the ocean liner SS American, features a cast of players including Eddie Mekka, best-known for his work on TV's Laverne and Shirley, appearing as Moonface Martin. Mekka, a Worcester native, returns to NSMT for the first time in 40 years.

Mekka spent the summer of 1974 in Beverly dancing in No, No, Nanette, Kiss Me, Kate and Sugar alongside Bonnie Franklin before both went on to sitcom stardom. (Mekka stays on in the area to star as Tevye in Greater Lowell Music Theatre's production of Fiddler on the Roof, June 27-June 29 at Durgin Hall on the UMass Lowell campus).

Anything Goes features such Porter classics as "Anything Goes," "You're the Top," "Friendship," and "De'Lovely."


Tickets are $50-$75. Kids, 18 and under, save 50 percent on Family Fridays, June 6 and 13, at 8 p.m. Call 978-232-7200 or visit nsmt.org or the box office at 62 Dunham Road, Beverly.

On the marquee

Stoneham Theatre celebrates its 15th anniversary season
Stoneham Theatre celebrates its 15th anniversary season
  • STONEHAM SEASON: Stoneham Theatre celebrates its 15th anniversary season in the coming months, opening its line-up of plays with Doubt, A Parable, the Pulitzer Prize winning play by John Patrick Shanley, starring local favorite Karen MacDonald, Sept. 11-28. The season continues with Neville's Island, a comedy by Tim Firth, Oct. 23-Nov. 9; the musical Meet Me in St. Louis, Nov. 28-Dec. 28; the contemporary comedy That Hopey Changey Thing, Feb. 26-March15; a family play Walking the Tightrope, April 9-26; and the Tony Award-winning musical classic How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, May 14-June 7. Visit stonehamtheatre.org for details, subscription and ticket information.
    Grease is the word at Ogunquit Playhouse through June 21
    Grease is the word at Ogunquit Playhouse through June 21
  • NEW SEASON NOTES: Littleton's Cannon Theatre opens its 2014-2015 season with Alan Ayckbourne's mystery-comedy It Could Be Any One of Us, Oct. 31-Nov. 22. The rest of the season includes the Holiday Readers Theater production of It's A Wonderful Life, Dec. 13; a youth production of Return to Oz, Jan. 23-Feb. 7, with auditions on Thursday, Sept. 4, and Saturday, Sept. 6; the cabaret-dinner production of A Night of Romance, Feb. 14; the classic Cyrano de Bergerac, March 13-April 4; and the musical Slipper and the Rose, a Cinderella story, May 15-June 6. Season ticket sales will be announced soon. Visit thecannontheatre.org for details.
  • SEASON OPENER: Ogunquit Playhouse, Rte. 1, Ogunquit, Maine, has opened its summer season with Grease, the fun-filled musical that pays tribute to the '50s, with energetic music, dance and a heaping helping of young love. It runs through June 21 and tickets start at $39. Visit ogunquitplayhouse.org.
  • NINE TONY NOMINATIONS: Cambridge's American Repertory Theatre is nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Play for its production of The Glass Menagerie, and two Tony Awards, including Best Play for its production of All the Way, both of which transferred from Cambridge to Broadway this season. The Tonys will be presented on June 8 in a televised ceremony from Radio City Music Hall. Both productions also received multiple Drama League, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations.

Nancye Tuttle's email address is nancyedt@verizon.net.