Local thespians bring variety show to the North Shore


The North Shore Village Theatre will be holding their third annual Holiday Variety Show this coming Saturday at the Glenwood Life Center. The first in-person show they’ve held since the coronavirus pandemic began, they say they are ready to provide residents with a chance to get out of the house and enjoy an old-fashioned variety show.

The North Shore Village Theatre is a local nonprofit community theater troupe made up of residents from Sea Cliff, Glen Cove, Glen Head and Glenwood Landing. Founded in 2018, the group had a handful of performances before the pandemic shut down their live performances indefinitely, although they were able to hold a virtual variety show in 2020.

Pre-Covid the group participated in a range of performances, from plays to musicals and even one man shows. Now, with the return of their Holiday Variety Show, one of the troupe’s board members and Sea Cliff resident Christine Abbenda says the musical thespians are excited to begin performing again and bring some artistic flair to the season of cheer.

“It’s so much fun, and it really gets people in the holiday spirit,” Abbenda explained. “It showcases the talent in the area, but it’s main objective is to entertain and delight.”

The show will cover a wide range of different types of art, as befits any variety show. The theatre’s creative director Christopher Moll and a member, Maggie Odell, have prepared several skits with characters they’ve developed over the years, with Moll acting as the straight man to play off Odell’s wacky characters.

There will also be numerous musical performances featuring guitars, pianos, drums and even a trombone piece courtesy of Abbenda’s son Seamus. There will also be two dance performances, which will highlight the wide range of artistic talents among those who live in the North Shore.

Steven Dahlke, the musical director for the troupe and a Glen Cove resident, said the performers have been preparing for the show for a little over a month now and are raring to perform for the community. After two years of Covid they’re ready to show everyone what they’ve been missing.

“The way we have always done things in the past is to make sure that spontaneity and freedom of expression is our main goal,” Dahlke said. “That always equals enlivening and connected performances, so everybody’s really excited.”

Moll, the group’s creative director, of Glen Cove, explained that the reason why they’ve used the Glenwood Life Center for several past performances is due to its large space and high ceilings.
However, part of the group’s long-term plan is to eventually find a permanent home for the theater company. Abbenda and Moll explained that from the 1940’s to ‘80’s, Glen Cove’s North Stage Theater was a shining example of theatrical and musical culture on the North Shore, and they hope to make enough money over the coming years to eventually buy and restore the property.

For now, however, the troupe is taking everything one step at a time, and the first step involves putting on an amazing variety show for the community this Saturday.

“At the end of the day what matters is putting on the best performance we can,” Moll continued. “It’s something we want to do every single year and make it a staple of our programming.”