By Ernio Hernandez
04 Jan 2007
|Photo by Aubrey Reuben|
Scott Ellis (Twelve Angry Men, The Little Dog Laughed) directs and Rob Ashford choreographs the John Kander, Fred Ebb and Rupert Holmes backstage murder mystery, which begins Feb. 27 and opens March 22 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.
Set "backstage at Boston’s Colonial Theatre in 1959," Curtains follows "a new musical [that] could be a Broadway smash, were it not for the presence of its talent free leading lady." The whole company of the out-of-town tryout become suspects "when the hapless star dies on opening night during her curtain call."
As previously announced, original stars David Hyde Pierce, Debra Monk, Karen Ziemba, Jason Danieley, Jill Paice and Edward Hibbert will reprise their work from the Los Angeles world premiere. Pierce stars as Lieutenant Frank Cioffi with Monk as producer Carmen Bernstein. Ziemba is lyricist Georgia Hendricks with Danieley as composer Aaron Fox, Paice as ingénue Niki Harris and Hibbert as director Christopher Belling.
The ensemble will also feature Ashley Amber, Nili Bassman, Kevin Bernard, Ward Billeisen, Paula Leggett Chase, Jennifer Dunne, David Eggers, J. Austin Eyer, Matt Farnsworth, Patty Goble, Mary Ann Lamb, David Loud, Brittany Marcin, Jim Newman, Joe Aaron Reid, Darcie Roberts, Christopher Spaulding, Allison Spratt and Jerome Vivona.
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 late 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.
The website for the show can be found at curtainsthemusical.com.