‘Curtains’ review

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Photo by Laura Jones

Jp Salazar, Staff Writer

A sign with the words “Robbin’ Hood” sat still on stage, seemingly out of place at the “Curtains” production. The Stage curtains lifted to reveal a disorganized cast, a talentless leading lady and an imperfect song – a total disaster. The only thing that could’ve saved the musical would have been the death of Madam Mariane, the leading lady, and as she croaked and fainted on the stage the audience was given hope. The event gave way for the talented “Curtains” cast and crew to entertain and impress the audience with a tale of infinite deception. They proved that the laughably bad performance was all part of the illusion of “Curtains”, which will be performed Jan. 17 through Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

After the death of the show’s star, the theater is quarantined as it becomes clear that the murderer is one of the many cast and crew members present during the show’s opening night. Lieutenant Frank Cioffi, played by senior Cam Wenrich, is sent to crack the case and find out who committed the murder. In between the introduction of Curtain’s real leading man, the Lieutenant, and finding out who the murderer is, a few more murders take place and a lot of musical numbers are performed.

The plot of “Curtains” is very complex with many twists and subplots, such as the love triangle between Georgia Hendricks, the former lyricist-turned-leading-lady played by senior Kaylee Killingsworth, Aaron Fox, the songwriter played by junior Daniel Duncan, and Bobby, the leading man in “Robbin’ Hood” played by senior Jared Fletcher. There is also the strained mother-daughter relationship between Ms. Bernstein, the wife of the main producer and played by Maddie Jones, and Bambi, the dancing actress played by senior Ansley Hamilton. These relationships and conflicts add a dimension to the play that make it much more than a murder mystery – they bring themes of morality, love and trust into the mix.

Each actor and actress had his or her own strength to add to the show, which called for those talented in singing, comedy, dancing and acting. Some players were obviously more accustomed to one of these areas, making their efforts in the others seem forced. Though there weren’t many blunders, some of the players noticeably stumbled through their lines at times.

Promiscuity and provocativeness were abundant in the musical. Instances of profanity were scattered throughout the production with many of the actors uttering a blunt “damn” or “crap”. These occasions provided comic relief in moments of grim or intense thought. “Kansasland” was the most risqué scene in the play with Hamilton’s character, Bambi, dressed in a skimpy Native American costume doing suggestive acrobatics with the boys around the stage. This scene may have pushed some boundaries, but it was a very intriguing piece that many people will be talking about.

At the end of show, it was clear which actors excelled in singing. Jones has a powerful voice that the audience will remember, this is especially apparent in her performance of “Show People” in which she exudes personality and sass. Jones wasn’t the only one that shone,though. “Thataway” was a big and flashy number that incorporated dancers wearing red and black dresses as Killingsworth gave it her all on top of a podium in a saloon. “He Did It”, a collaboration by the whole cast that implemented flashlights as the theater turned pitch black, is a catchy tune that will be ringing in people’s heads days after the musical.

On the comedic front, Wenrich’s character, the Lieutenant, stood out as the funniest character, providing comedy through even the most serious of scenes. He wasn’t alone, though, as junior Rachel Van Duyne, playing the dead lead’s understudy Niki Harris, served as his love interest and comedic partner in crime. Duyne was very believable playing her dim-witted-but-good-natured character. Another factor of the play that is sure to entertain and befuddle its audience is the fact that it seems like the players break the “fourth wall” as they give cues to the orchestra conductor and the stage manager.

“Curtains” is an exciting and ambitious project that delves into many realms of theater. It’s bound to have everyone in attendance laughing, dumbfounded and in deep thought all at some point. “Curtains” isn’t just a musical; it’s a truly unique experience that all fans of entertainment will enjoy.