Curtains Cast Album Gets Recorded March 26 for a June Release

News   Curtains Cast Album Gets Recorded March 26 for a June Release The first new cast album of show music by John Kander and Fred Ebb in a decade will be recorded March 26, when troupers from Broadway's Curtains go into a Manhattan studio.

Four days after the March 22 opening at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, the cast (including David Hyde Pierce, Debra Monk, Jason Danieley and Karen Ziemba) will record the score — music by Kander, lyrics by Ebb, plus additional lyrics by Kander and Rupert Holmes — for record producer Jay David Saks, a longtime Kander collaborator.

The cast album on the Broadway Angel/Manhattan Records label will be released June 5. Bill Rosenfield is executive producer.

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A single disc will preserve the score of the murder-mystery musical comedy.

Changes to the score were made during Broadway previews, which began Feb. 27. Kander and Ebb fans will read a special poignancy into the song "I Miss the Music," sung by a composer, about his absent lyricist. The song was written after the death of Ebb, composer Kander's longtime writing partner. Ebb died in 2004, ending a long creative marriage with Kander. Together, they wrote the songs for Broadway's Flora, the Red Menace; Cabaret; The Happy Time; Zorba; 70, Girls, 70; Chicago; The Act; Woman of the Year; The Rink; Kiss of the Spider Woman; and Steel Pier.

The most recent new Kander and Ebb Broadway score to be recorded was 1997's Steel Pier, which, like Curtains, was also directed by Scott Ellis (and starred Ziemba).

Curtains (conceived by Peter Stone, who wrote its original book) is one of four scores Kander and Ebb were working on at the time of Ebb's death. The Visit and All About Us are scheduled for regional productions in 2007. The Minstrel Show is another orphaned work.

The list of musical numbers in the opening night Playbill includes:

ACT I
"Wide Open Spaces"
"What Kind of Man?"
"Thinking of Him"
"The Woman's Dead"
"Show People"
"Coffee Shop Nights"
"In the Same Boat 1"
"I Miss the Music"
"Thataway!"

ACT II
"He Did It"
"In the Same Boat 2"
"It's a Business"
"Kansasland"
"Thinking of Him" (reprise)
"A Tough Act to Follow"
"In the Same Boat 3"
"A Tough Act to Follow" (reprise)

(The Playbill does not offer a breakdown of lyric credit for each song.)

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In Curtains, Pierce (Spamalot, "Frasier") plays a Boston police detective, Lt. Frank Cioffi, investigating the murder of the leading lady of a musical having its out-of-town tryout in Beantown. An avid musical fan, he tries to both solve a crime and defuse a Broadway-bound bomb, offering rewrite tips to the creative team and producers (played by Debra Monk, Karen Ziemba, Jason Danieley and Edward Hibbert, among others).

The show's plot was rewritten extensively by Holmes when he was invited aboard after the 2003 death of Stone.

Tickets are on sale at Telecharge at (212) 239-6200, or online at www.telecharge.com or in person at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre box office (302 West 45th Street).

For more information visit www.CurtainstheMusical.com.

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The cast includes David Hyde Pierce as Lieutenant Frank Cioffi, Tony Award winner Debra Monk (Redwood Curtain, Steel Pier) as producer Carmen Bernstein, Tony winner Karen Ziemba (Contact) as lyricist Georgia Hendricks, Jason Danieley (The Full Monty, Broadway's most recent Candide) as composer Aaron Fox, Jill Paice (The Woman in White) as ingénue Niki Harris and Edward Hibbert (The Drowsy Chaperone) as director Christopher Belling, with John Bolton as theatre critic Daryl Grady, Michael X. Martin as stage manager Johnny Harmon, Michael McCormick as investor Oscar Shapiro, Noah Racey (Never Gonna Dance) as choreographer/star Bobby Pepper, Ernie Sabella (Sweet Charity, Man of La Mancha) as producer Sidney Bernstein and Megan Sikora as understudy Bambi Bernét.

Tony winner Rob Ashford (Thoroughly Modern Millie) choreographs.

According to the producers, "Curtains unfolds backstage at Boston's Colonial Theatre in 1959, where a new musical could be a Broadway smash, were it not for the presence of its talent-free leading lady. When the hapless star dies on opening night during her curtain call, Lieutenant Frank Cioffi (David Hyde Pierce) arrives on the scene to conduct an investigation. But the lure of the theatre proves irresistible and after an unexpected romance blooms for the stage-struck detective, he finds himself just as drawn toward making the show a hit, as he is in solving the murder."

The 31-member cast also features Ashley Amber (Swing), Nili Bassman (Arlene Barucca), Kevin Bernard (Roy Stetson/Detective O'Farrell), Ward Billeisen (Brick Hawvermale), Paula Leggett Chase, (Marjorie Cook), Jennifer Dunne (Jan Setler), David Eggers (Swing), J. Austin Eyer (Swing), Matt Farnsworth (Harv Fremont), Patty Goble (Jessica Cranshaw/Connie Subbotin), Mary Ann Lamb (Mona Page), David Loud (Sasha Iljinsky), Brittany Marcin (Peg Prentice), Jim Newman (Randy Dexter), Joe Aaron Reid (Ronnie Driscoll), Darcie Roberts (Roberta Wooster), Christopher Spaulding (Russ Cochran), Allison Spratt (Swing) and Jerome Vivona (Swing).

The Broadway producers are Roger Berlind, Roger Horchow, Daryl Roth, Jane Bergère, Ted Hartley and Center Theatre Group. Like The Drowsy Chaperone in 2005-06, Curtains had its world premiere at Center Theatre Group's Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles (in August 2006).

The creative team includes set designer Anna Louizos, Tony-winning costume designer William Ivey Long (The Producers), Tony-winning lighting designer Peter Kaczorowski (The Producers) and sound designer Brian Ronan. Orchestrations are by Tony winner William David Brohn (Ragtime). Dance arrangements are by David Chase. Music direction and vocal arrangements are by David Loud. Wig and hair design is by Paul Huntley. Fight direction is by Rick Sordelet. Aerial effects design is by Paul Rubin. Make-up design is by Angelina Avallone. Associate choreographer is Joann M. Hunter. Production supervisor is Beverley Randolph. Technical supervisor is Peter Fulbright. Casting is by Jim Carnahan.

Starting March 27, Tuesday evening performances will be at 7 PM.

Performance schedule for Curtains is 7 PM Tuesday, Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM, and Sunday at 3 PM.

Tickets are on sale at Telecharge at (212) 239-6200, online at www.telecharge.com or in person at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre box office.