December Show Review

Post (Belated) December Show Review: Curtains

            Ok, I know I was supposed to post this yesterday, but we were very busy. Better late than never?

Although it may not seem like it (what with my tardiness and all), I’ve been very excited about this show review. Curtains is the perfect musical for theater lovers; it’s a murder mystery set in a theater. The theater company is putting on “Robbin’ Hood!” On opening night, they are faced with terrible review – and the murder of their lead!  

Lt. Frank Cioffi, fabulously played by David Hyde Pierce in the original production, comes in to investigate the murder and quarantines the theater, trapping all of the actors, writers, director, producer, and technicians in the theater until the case is solved. They continue to work on the show, trying to improve it before their second performance. Lt. Cioffi, a huge fan of the theater himself, ends up working harder to help the show than he does to solve the case! Two more murders are committed before he finds the culprit(s), but “Robbin’ Hood!” is greatly improved by its second performance!

The last two shows I reviewed were pretty tragic, so I wanted to talk about a comedy for a change. There’s definitely a lot of meta humor that will appeal to theater enthusiasts. Here’s one exchange:

CARMEN: “Cioffi, you’re gonna protect me, right? There’s already been two murders committed on this stage.”

BELLING: “Three if you count the integrity of musical theatre.”

I’ve picked a song from the soundtrack for you to sample. Throughout the show, the writers of “Robbin’ Hood!” keep revising one song, “On the Same Boat.” They end up writing three separate versions of the song, and eventually Lt. Cioffi figures out exactly what to do with the number.

If you listened closely, you would have heard my favorite quote from the show: “Oh, will you forget about the murders for a second!” Lt. Cioffi says. David Hyde Pierce was so perfect in this role. I loved his earnest portrayal of the investigator/theater enthusiast, Lt. Cioffi.

There’s one other quote from the show that I loved, though for other reasons. Johnny, the stage manager (SM) of “Robbin’ Hood,” says, “A stage manager is equal parts psychiatrist, Mother Hen and Father Confessor.” As a former SM myself, I can absolutely vouch for the veracity of this statement. SMs must play a variety of roles to their coworkers, being at once stern and sympathetic, assertive and cooperative. I can’t even count the amount of times I felt like the actors were my children!

Have any of you seen Curtains? What did you think?