Director Scott Ellis (Twelve Angry Men, The Little Dog Laughed) will stage the long-developing backstage murder-mystery debuting this summer at the Center Theatre Group's Ahmanson Theatre.
Pierce (Spamalot, "Frasier") stars as a show-tune-loving detective in the musical set in 1959 and populated by fictive members of the Broadway theatre community. Monk (Reckless, Chicago), Hibbert (Noises Off, Me and My ) and Ziemba (Contact, Steel Pier) — who appeared in an Oct. 31, 2005 reading — will be featured in the show's ensemble.
Production spokespersons could not confirm the casting of the trio of Broadway veterans.
The legendary team of Kander and Ebb provide the score for the musical comedy with Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) penning a book based on an earlier libretto by the late Peter Stone. Additional lyrics are by Holmes and composer Kander. The musical comedy will run from mid-July through mid-September 2006, with specific dates to be announced.
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.
Curtains is set in 1959 in Boston at a pre-Broadway tryout of a new musical "where it's literally 'curtains' for the leading lady who dies mysteriously onstage during the applause at the end of the show."
The entire company — the producers, the songwriters, the director, the actors, the stage manager — are possible suspects and each has an motive to be sorted out by a local detective (played by Pierce).
The detective, of course, "is a fervent musical theatre fan, allows the company to continue rehearsing while he conducts his murder investigation," according to CTG. "He soon finds himself in the middle of the uproarious bedlam of theatrical egos and eccentricities, more murders and even a budding love affair."
Rupert 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.
Peter Stone, who died in 2003, won three Tony Awards for his librettos for Titanic, Woman of the Year and 1776.
Tickets to Curtains are currently available on an Ahmanson Theatre subscription only. For further information and to purchase a subscription, please call (213) 628-2772.