CURTAINS is the last collaboration of the team of John Kander and Freb Ebb that began with FLORA THE RED MENACE (the Broadway debut of Lisa Minnelli) in 1965 and included such classics as CABARET and CHICAGO. The book is by Peter Stone, the only writer to ever win the Tony, Oscar and Emmy. Stone wrote the screenplay for CHARADE, FATHER GOOSE and THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1-2-3 and the book for 1776, SUGAR and THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES. Freb Ebb and Peter Stone both passed away before CURTAINS was finished and Rupert Holmes (THE MYSTERY OF EDWARD DROOD, ACCOMPLICE) was called in to finish the lyrics and book.
CURTAINS is a backstage murder mystery that begins with the death of the off-key leading lady of Broadway-bound musical THE ROBBIN’ HOOD during curtain calls for opening night of try-outs in Boston in 1959. The murder is investigated by stage-struck homicide detective Frank Cioffi, played by FRASER’s David Hyde-Pierce (who told us in SPAMALOT that “You Won't Succeed on Broadway” unless you have Jews). Several more deaths occur during the course of the investigation. By the final curtain Cioffi manages to solve the murders and fix the show.
Two thumbs way up from me! The show is witty, smart and funny. A good original “old-fashioned” musical. Go see it!
The excellent cast also which also includes Debra Monk and Ernie Sabella as the producers, Karen Ziemba as one of the writers who becomes the new leading lady, Hyde-Pierce’s FRASER colleague Edward Hibbert as the director, and Jill Pace as a supporting actress who captures the heart of the detective. It was directed by Scott Ellis.
CURTAINS has been nominated for eight (8) Tonys - Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (David Hyde Pierce), Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical (Debra Monk), Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical (Karen Ziemba), and Best Direction of a Musical.