NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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December 14, 2012

'It's really just a magical show'

Local actors appear in North Shore Music Theatre's 'A Christmas Carol'

(Continued)

“It’s really fun; I’ve made a lot of new friends,” she added.

David Coffee, who has played the role of Scrooge for many years, is “welcoming to all the kids,” Julia said. “He’s really funny.

“A lot of people are Equity in the show, it’s so cool to be working with professional actors,” she added. “This is probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.”

For Newburyport’s John Budzyna, the former director of the Firehouse Center for the Arts who now works as the executive director for the Arlington Center for the Arts, is also performing in the NSMT’s “A Christmas Carol” for the first time. His long resume, however, includes recent stints in “The Music Man” with the Greater Lowell Music Theatre, “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Godspell.”

Budzyna also co-wrote and appeared in the Firehouse’s parody “Forbidden Newburyport” last year.

As an ensemble member in “A Christmas Carol,” he plays four different characters during the show, including a caroler, a party guest and Scrooge’s friend and co-worker Dick Wilkins.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to do a show here,” Budzyna said. In the late 1990s, he worked for the theater as the manager of group sales.

The holiday classic has always had a special place in his family as his daughter, Maggie, was cast in the show for the last two years.

“It just brings back such great memories,” Budzyna said.

One of the best moments of the show, he added, is during the curtain call, when the entire cast assembles on stage and sings “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.”

Looking out onto the audience and seeing families dressed in holiday attire, “with pure joy on their faces,” singing along with the actors is amazing, he said.

“It’s really just a magical show.”

IF YOU GO

What: “A Christmas Carol”

Where: North Shore Music Theatre, 62 Dunham Road, Beverly

When: Performances run through Dec. 23

How: Tickets range from $45 to $60. To purchase, call the box office at 978-232-7200, visit www.nsmt.org or visit the theater. At all performances, the theater will be collecting for Toys for Tots in the lobby.

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