Book by Rupert Holmes, based on an idea by Peter Stone. Music by John Kander. Lyrics by Fred Ebb, with additional lyrics by John Kander and Rupert Holmes. The original Broadway production opened on 22 March 2007 and was directed by Scott Ellis with choreography by Rob Ashford. The production closed on 29 June 2008, running for 511 performances.
Synopsis and Musical Numbers
Boston, 1959. At the Colonial Theatre, Robbin’ Hood of the Old West, the new Western musical adaptation of the Robin Hood story, could be a Broadway smash, were it not for the presence of its talent-free leading lady, Jessica Cranshaw – a triple threat who can’t sing, act or dance, or even remember when to say her lines, as displayed in the show-within-the-show’s opening number, WIDE OPEN SPACES. Indeed the critical response to the show has been discouraging (WHAT KIND OF MAN?). Divorced songwriting team Aaron Fox and Georgia Hendricks lament the reception of the show and Georgia considers her relationship with her ex-husband (THINKING OF HIM).
When the hapless star is murdered on opening night during her curtain call (THE WOMAN’S DEAD), Lieutenant Frank Cioffi arrives on the scene to conduct an investigation. The entire company are suspects, including Aaron and Georgia, as well as the hard-bitten lady producer, Carmen Bernstein; her co-producer and husband, Sidney; the show’s flamboyant director Christopher Belling; stage manager Johnny Harmon; choreographer/leading man Bobby Pepper, ingénue Niki Harris, and ambitious chorine Bambi Bernét (SHOW PEOPLE). There is an immediate connection between the detective and Niki (COFFEE SHOP NIGHTS). Lt. Frank Cioffi sequesters the theatre, believing that the perpetrator is still in the building.
The company uses the extra time to try and fix the show’s problems. Niki, Ms. Cranshaw’s understudy, is passed up for the leading role in favor of Georgia, whom the producers convince to assume the part despite the protests of Aaron, who has fallen in love with her again, and despite her long absence from the stage (I MISS THE MUSIC). The girls sing a number from the show (IN THE SAME BOAT 1), which is rejected in favour of a rewrite. Meanwhile, other production numbers are also rewritten and rehearsed (THATAWAY).
Secrets continue to surface – and the body count is rising (THE MAN IS DEAD). Accusations are flying all over the place (HE DID IT). Rehearsals continue (IN THE SAME BOAT 2). Cioffi, a theater fan and amateur actor, becomes more and more involved with saving the show than solving the case and the producers discuss various financial aspects of life in the theatre (IT’S A BUSINESS). A new number, KANSASLAND, goes into the show and Aaron and Niki also reconcile (THINKING OF HIM/I MISS THE MUSIC – REPRISE). The detective also finds himself falling for Niki, and she seems to return his affection, so he hopes she’s not the murderer (A TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW). A third version of IN THE SAME BOAT appears. Cioffi eventually solves the case, saves the show, and gets the girl. He is also acknowledged as one of the SHOW PEOPLE while avoiding the killer himself. The show goes up (WIDE OPEN SPACES) and it seems that it will indeed be A TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW (REPRISE).
Purchases from Amazon.com
Enjoy the cast recording of the show and other music from Kander and Ebb until further Curtains merchandise becomes available. From left to right above: 1. Curtains Original Broadway Cast CD. 2. Steel Pier Original Broadway Cast CD. 3. Kiss of the Spider Woman Original Broadway Cast CD. 4. Fosse Original Broadway Cast CD, including a number of popular Kander and Ebb songs. 5. The Musicality of Kander and Ebb Compilation CD (includes music from a selection of shows, included the as yet unrecorded The Visit.
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