December 7, 2022

NSMT presents A Benefit Reading Of Nate Bertone’s Newest Play

by joeyphoenix

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The reading of THE SEAVIEW NURSING HOME FOR THE NEWLY DECEASED will occur on December 13, 2022 at 7PM – Tickets on sale now.

In March of 2020, as the world shut down to fight a global pandemic, and little was known about what we were then calling Coronavirus, Karen Nascembeni, the General Manager of the North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) in Beverly, MA and her husband, Steven Richard, both became gravely ill. “On the morning of St. Patrick’s Day, Steven, and I, the sickest we had been in our lives, drove to Winchester Hospital. When we got there, there was a staging area outside.  The hospital was completely overwhelmed with patients. A Physician’s Assistant came out and took Steven in immediately because he was so sick but left me behind. When he got out of the car, he turned around and he smiled at me and he said, “I love you.” He blew me a kiss, and like a giddy little schoolgirl, I touched my heart and blew one right back. “I love you,” I said. That was the last time I saw him,” Nascembeni recounted. 

In the weeks following, Nate Bertone, a dear friend of Nascembeni and Richard’s, struck by grief, was driving through the North Shore in hopes of finding some peace in the drive. As he drove through Danvers, MA., he passed a sign that appeared to say “The New England Home for the Dead.” He looked at it, said to himself, “Huh, how strange. That must be like a home for souls that are stuck since we can’t grieve them properly right now,” and he kept driving. Later, he learned that he had driven past a home for the deaf and it was his grief-stricken mind that changed a letter. With that, a new play was born about life, loss, and the gray area in between. 

Now, over two years later, in Steven’s memory, Karen Nascembeni and Bill Hanney present a one night only benefit reading of Nate Bertone’s new play The SeaView Nursing Home for the Newly Deceased, hosted at North Shore Music Theatre on Tuesday, December 13, 2022, at 7 p.m.  “I am beyond thrilled to bring this new work with Steven’s story at the heart of it to our beloved North Shore Music Theatre stage.  Steven would be humbled to see this hilariously funny and heart wrenching work which was birthed out of the pain of the loss of his beautiful soul. Nate takes you on a spiritual journey on stage in ways I’ve never experienced before in a theater,” Nascembeni said.  

When the world hits pause as an unknown virus wreaks havoc, six souls –– newly deceased –– wake up in the abandoned SeaView Nursing Home. Unaware of their passing, the souls work to discover where they are and why. After accepting their death, they meet an unrelenting, and divinely connected, real estate agent on a mission to sell their new home. When she reveals that they are stuck in the in-between, the souls must discover the key to crossing over to the great beyond before their time runs out. A heart-warming and side-splitting new story of love and loss in a time of global panic and pause, Nate Bertone’s The SeaView Nursing Home for the Newly Deceased will make you cherish the here and now, and wonder what really comes next.

The benefit will be directed by playwright Nate Bertone (Letters From War). The cast of actors from Broadway, Television, and beyond features Jared Reinfeldt (American Horror Story/Gossip Girl) as Steven, Bronson Norris Murphy (Phantom of The Opera/Love Never Dies) as James, Jaelle Laguerre (A Christmas Carol) as Aliyah, Kyra Kennedy (Mystic Pizza) as Emma, Mia Matthews (Single Drunk Female, Every Witch Way) as Kristen, Cheryl McMahon (A Christmas Carol) as Barbara, and Merrill Peiffer (Mamma Mia!) as Sefatia. The creative team also includes Matthew Eriksen (Assistant Director/Marketing), Ashley Skeffington (Stage Directions), Amanda Dane (Guitar), and Casey Roland (Stage Management).

In an interview with NSMT Owner and Producer, Bill Hanney, he said, “Following a successful benefit presentation of Nate’s musical Letters From War in 2018, I am thrilled to welcome him back with this powerful new play. Steven Richard was one of my dear friends who I am proud to call family.  I am truly honored and excited to be a part of this beautiful new work which is a loving tribute to Steven’s memory.”

All tickets are priced at $20. The presentation will be held at North Shore Music Theatre on Tuesday, December 13, 2022, at 7 p.m., with proceeds benefiting The Steven Richard Memorial Photography Scholarship at Montserrat College of Art. Following the performance will be a talkback with the cast, playwright and producers. Schools and group organizations are encouraged to attend.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the North Shore Music Theatre Box Office at (978) 232-7200, via the website at or in person at 54 Dunham Road (Route 128, exit 19), Beverly, MA. 

Since opening in 1955, NSMT has become one of the most attended theatres in New England, with approximately 250,000 patrons annually. With a national and regional reputation for artistic achievement, NSMT has received numerous industry awards including Elliot Norton Awards, IRNE Awards, the Rosetta Le Noire Award from Actors’ Equity, and the Moss Hart Award. NSMT produced the World Premiere of ‘Memphis’ in 2003, the show went on to win four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Under the new ownership of Bill Hanney since 2010, NSMT continues to annually produce a musical subscription series and an annual production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ along with celebrity concerts, children’s programming and year-round education classes.

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