Curtains Up: Kander and Ebb Musical to Play Broadway with Pierce and Monk

News   Curtains Up: Kander and Ebb Musical to Play Broadway with Pierce and Monk John Kander, Fred Ebb and Rupert Holmes' musical comedy Curtains will next play at Broadway's Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

David Hyde Pierce in Curtains.
David Hyde Pierce in Curtains. Photo by Joan Marcus

Following a world-premiere run in Los Angeles this summer at Center Theatre Group's Ahmanson Theatre, the backstage murder-mystery heads to New York for a Feb. 27, 2007, start and a March 22 opening.

Scott Ellis (Twelve Angry Men, The Little Dog Laughed) directs and Rob Ashford choreographs. Original stars David Hyde Pierce, Debra Monk, Karen Ziemba, Jason Danieley, Jill Paice and Edward Hibbert will reprise their turns for the Broadway run.

The cast also features John Bolton as theatre critic Daryl Grady, Michael X. Martin as stage manager Johnny Harmon, Michael McCormick as nervous investor Oscar Shapiro, Noah Racey as lead dancer/choreographer Bobby Pepper and Megan Sikora as aspiring dancer Bambi Bernstein. Additional cast members will be announced shortly.

Set in 1959's Boston, Curtains finds itself at a pre-Broadway tryout of a new musical where the "talent-free leading lady... dies on opening night during her curtain call."

The entire company of Robbin' Hood (a Western musical version of the Sherwood Forest heroic tale) including the producer (Monk), the songwriters (Danieley and Ziemba), the director (Hibbert), the actors including her understudy (Paice) and the stage manager are possible suspects, and each has a motive to be sorted out by a local detective (Pierce) - who becomes stage-struck and "finds himself just as drawn toward making the show a hit, as he is in solving the murder." Original L.A. cast members John Bolton, Michael X. Martin, Michael McCormick, Noah Racey and Megan Sikora also return. More of the 28-member ccompany are to be announced shortly.

Tony Award winner Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) provides the book to Curtains featuring music by John Kander, lyrics by the late Fred Ebb and an original book and concept by the late Peter Stone. Additional lyrics are by John Kander and Rupert Holmes.

The design team for Curtains features Anna Louizos (set), William Ivey Long (costume), Peter Kaczorowski (lighting), Brian Ronan (sound), Paul Huntley (hair and wig), Paul Rubin (aerial effects) and Angelina Avallone (make-up). Rick Sordelet handles fight direction. Orchestrations are by William David Brohn and dance arrangements are by David Chase. David Loud handles vocal arrangements and serves as music director.

Curtains marks one of the last collaborations by one of the longest-running songwriting teams in Broadway history — composer Kander and lyricist Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago, Zorba, The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Woman of the Year). Their The Visit was produced by The Goodman Theatre in Chicago but did not move to a New York run. Ebb died in 2004.

Holmes won three Tony Awards in 1986 for his Broadway musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and from 1996 to 1999 he was the creator and writer of the television series "Remember WENN" on American Movie Classics. His pop songs include "The Pina Colada Song."

Peter Stone, who died in 2003, won three Tony Awards for his librettos for Titanic, Woman of the Year and 1776.

Curtains is produced by Roger Berlind, Roger Horchow, Daryl Roth, Jane Bergère, Ted Hartley and Center Theatre Group.

Tickets for Curtains at the Hirschfeld Theatre, 302 West 45th Street, will be on sale to American Express Card members starting Jan. 7, 2007 by calling (212) 239-6200. The public on-sale date is Jan. 21 and the box office opens Jan. 22.

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