JM de Quincy’s Productions Bring Music, Theater and Line Dance to the City
By R. Scott Reedy
QUINCY – John F. McDonald Jr., a native of Quincy and resident, had not missed a year of presenting live shows in his hometown and on the South Shore since the founding of JM Productions in 1980. It was , of course, until the pandemic forced him to drop the curtain on last season.
It also forced McDonald’s to carefully consider its options for the future.
âWe’ve been dark for 20 months,â McDonald said recently by phone from his home. “During that time, I wondered whether I should continue or throw in the towel to be a part of the entertainment and event planning industry and do something completely different.”
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Ultimately, the president and production manager of JM Productions – whose shows have been presented to thousands of South Shore spectators over the years – decided that the allure of the limelight was simply too strong to resist.
âI couldn’t turn my back on the entertainment business because it defines me. This is who I am and everything I really know. My friends and colleagues have said, âYou can’t give up on something you’ve done so long, so well, and love. It’s your life.’ I knew I had to keep going, âMcDonald said.
With this, he began planning for JM Productions’ 40th anniversary season by looking for a new location to present his cabaret shows, concerts, jazz brunches and line dances.
âMy business has never had its own physical location,â McDonald said. âI have always presented in other people’s theaters. Every time I move I look for a clean new start.
This time, that goal drew McDonald’s – a former personal assistant to Oscar-winning actresses Faye Dunaway and Marisa Tomei, five-time Tony Award winner Julie Harris, film legend Lauren Bacall and others – to the Marriott Boston. Quincy.
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âAt the Marriott, I will be able to use multiple spaces within the resort, which will allow me to present many types of performances,â said McDonald. “I’ll be announcing a comedy festival this fall and bigger concerts early next year.”
Regardless of the schedule, McDonald, who has been the Events Coordinator for the Town of Quincy since 2018, says he will be in the venue where it takes place, both eager to welcome his longtime loyal audience once again and to introduce themselves to newcomers.
âOver the years, I have been master of ceremonies for my shows and sometimes also director, producer and sometimes even performer,â he said with a laugh. “I don’t expect to be on stage this year, but I know that whatever I do, I’ll be in the company of friends.”
Cool cabaret on tap
The new McDonald’s season kicks off later this month with all shows at the Marriott Boston Quincy, 1000 Marriott Drive, Quincy. The schedule includes:
9-10 Sep, “Happy Days Are Here Again: Celebrating Tomorrow with the Music of Yesterday”, featuring New York-based sisters Kidwell, Hannah and Lauren.
October 7-8, “Fall-ing in Love,” featuring nationally renowned artists Brandon Grimes and Adrienne Paquin, returning from New York to their native Boston to perform musical selections made famous by everyone from Frank Sinatra to the Beatles.
November 18-19, “The American Soldier,” a solo show starring actor Douglas Taurel, who was commissioned by the Library of Congress to write the play using true stories and letters written by veterans and their families of the American revolution to the present day. After performing the piece at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, Taurel now takes it on the road.
16-17 Dec., “What Christmas Means to Me”, a music review – inspired by classic holiday TV shows hosted by everyone from Bob Hope and Bing Crosby to Perry Como and Andy Williams – that has been a tradition of JM Productions for 40 years.
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March 31-April 1, 2022, “The Steve & Eydie Show”, with Jim Rice and Valerie Sneade-Roy, celebrates the music of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, whose songs – including “This could be the start of Something Big”, “A Lot of Livin ‘ to Do â,â What I have that I don’t have âandâ If he entered my life â- led them to be the headliners of nightclubs and theaters exposure for more than 50 years.
April 21-22, 2022, singer Mel “Martie” Martin shares the stage with pianist Tom LaMark for “Ella, Peggy, Doris, and Me”, featuring music from Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Doris Day and other great ladies of the jazz, pop and musical theater.
May 5-6, 2022, In “Just the Two of Us”, father and daughter Jim Porcella and Renee Legendre perform a wide variety of music, including songs originally recorded by Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole and Michael BublÃ©, among others. .
June 2-3, 2022, “Dream Along with Me,” starring comedian, actor and singer Warren Schein, accompanied by Tom LaMark on keyboards, will pay homage to Perry Como, the beloved recording artist and television star known to millions. of people simply under the name of Mr. C.
All the good initiatives
Put on your best cowboy hat and shine your dance boots for three nights of country dancing on August 26, September 16 and October 14. Expect stomping, twirling and banging in unison as DJ Steve Cavanaugh spins country music’s biggest hits. The cost is $ 10.
Jazzed up for brunch
Have some sax and bass with your eggs and bacon. The Jazz Brunch Series is a mix of music, food, and a great location. Jazz Brunch dates include September 10, October 10, and November 14.
If you are going to
The programming of the Cabaret 2021-22 series includes a morning lunch on Thursday and Friday with a dinner show on Friday evening. Doors open at 11:30 am for lunch and 6:30 pm for dinner. For tickets, visit ticketstothecity.com/jm.
For more information on the Cabaret Series and other JM productions at Marriott Boston Quincy, 1000 Marriott Drive, Quincy, call 857-333-4199 or go online at jmproductionspresents.com.
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