SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

November 8, 2012

Beverly native comes home to act in 'Guys and Dolls'

BEVERLY — Beverly native James Beaman made his debut at the North Shore Music Theatre last week, when “Guys and Dolls” opened for a run through this Sunday.

Beaman, 47, has appeared in a long list of off-Broadway and regional theater productions, in addition to appearing in the national tour of “Spamalot,” the musical comedy based on the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” His many appearances in productions of Shakespeare include “Richard III” at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

Beaman has vivid memories of the North Shore, where his mother and sister still live and where he is happy to be able to come back and visit.

He spoke with The Salem News about his career.

Were you born in Beverly?

I was born in Pittsburgh. My parents met in college. My father got a job at BU and moved to Beverly when I was 4.

You graduated from Beverly High School?

I did two years at Beverly High, then applied and went early to college. I got an associate’s degree in 1983. Aside from a year in New York, I lived in Boston from ’87 to ’93 and helped my mother run Boston Children’s Theatre, where I taught teenagers and ran a touring company from the late ’80s to the early ’90s.

Did you work as an actor at that time?

I did a bunch of work in Boston and I started a cabaret career, as a performer, that took me to New York.

How much of your work has been in musical theater, how much in drama?

I’d say it’s about half and half. I’ve worked in almost every style of theater. I went to BU and got a degree in acting there. I got a master’s degree with the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, so I’ve been trained as a classical actor. But I’ve been doing musical theater since I was 12 years old.

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