North shore Music Theatre, Beverly
Standout qualities: Reasonably priced, quality productions from a long-respected, award-winning theatre company. There isn’t a bad seat in this theatre that opened as part of a national circuit of summer stock theatres designed to present touring packages of Broadway successes and star-centered comedies.
Insider tip: If you haven’t been yet, it’s tucked in off the highway and in a wooded area.
Fun fact: Since 1955, the North Shore Music Theatre has become one of the most attended theatres in New England, with approximately 250,000 patrons annually.
What’s unique: A venue for community theatre and star-studded evenings, this historic regional theatre has employed many who are gifted behind the scenes, from set builders to seamstresses.
What’s New: One of the few remaining theatre-in-the-round stages in the United States, the 2017 season includes Young Frankenstein, Evita, and 42nd Street.
62 Dunham Rd., Beverly, 978-232-7200, nsmt.org
Gloucester Stage Company, Gloucester
Standout qualities: Co-founded in 1979 by award-winning playwright Israel Horovitz as a “safe harbor for playwrights and new plays,” this East Gloucester institution is perfectly situated near Rocky Neck Art Colony, beaches, and fantastic restaurants.
What’s unique: A summer theater for New York talent and daring new plays, the theater also offers youth workshops and an apprentice program for recent college graduates to work alongside professionals and gain experience helping run a busy theatre.
Fun fact: One of the most beloved traditions is the annual GSC raffle. You can witness the excitement as former winners, past participants, and first-time buyers pull out their credit cards and wave them frantically in the air. Money raised goes toward the theatre. 267 East Main St., Gloucester, 978-281-4433, gloucesterstage.com
North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly