Broadway Angel / Manhattan Records will release the Original Broadway Cast Recording of the new musical CURTAINS on June 5, 2007. The show features one of the last scores by the legendary team of John Kander & Fred Ebb, the Tony-winning songwriters of the musicals Cabaret and Chicago, as well as the classic title song from the film New York, New York, among much more. Recorded on March 26, 2007, the album is produced by nine-time Grammy-winner Jay David Saks (Into The Woods, Chicago revival) and is executive produced by Bill Rosenfield, with liner notes by Rupert Holmes. The musical starring David Hyde Pierce and Debra Monk opened on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on March 22, 2007.
CURTAINS unfolds backstage at Boston's Colonial Theatre in 1959, where a new musical (the show-within-the-show, "Robbin' Hood") could be a smash, were it not for the presence of its talent-free leading lady. When the hapless star dies on opening night during her curtain call, Lieutenant Frank Cioffi (David Hyde Pierce) arrives on the scene to conduct an investigation. But the lure of the theatre proves irresistible and after an unexpected romance blooms for the stage-struck detective, he finds himself just as drawn toward making the show a hit, as he is toward solving the murder.
CURTAINS features memorable songs, from the buoyant "Show People," a celebratory anthem for all musical theater fans, to heartfelt ballads such as "Coffee Shop Nights," which captures the spirit of Kander & Ebb's finest earlier work. The sincere "I Miss The Music," a number in which the composer of "Robbin' Hood" sings of the difficulty of working without his wife and writing partner, paints an especially poignant scenario when considering the death of CURTAINS' lyricist Fred Ebb.
Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb are considered one of the greatest songwriting teams in the history of musical theater. Their long partnership, which lasted nearly 40 years until Fred's death in 2004, produced an array of musical hits including their first major success, Cabaret. In addition to each of them winning Tony Awards for Best Music and Best Lyrics, the 1966 production won the Tony for Best Musical; the film version also went on to earn eight Academy Awards. Some of their many collaborations include: The Happy Time, Zorba, Chicago (for which the film version went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture), Woman of the Year, The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Steel Pier. Perhaps one of their greatest and well-known successes is the title song for the 1977 Martin Scorsese film New York, New York, a song that became the unofficial anthem of New York City and has been immortalized by singers such as Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli. In 1998 Kander & Ebb were honored with the lifetime achievement award at the Kennedy Center Honors. Since Fred Ebb's death, John Kander has continued his work in musical theater. Kander & Ebb are the recipients of a special 2007 Drama Desk Award for 42 years of excellence in advancing the art of the musical theater.
CURTAINS stars David Hyde Pierce as Lieutenant Frank Cioffi and Debra Monk as producer Carmen Bernstein. The production also features Karen Ziemba as lyricist Georgia Hendricks, Jason Danieley as composer Aaron Fox, Jill Paice as ingenue Niki Harris and Edward Hibbert as director Christopher Belling, with John Bolton as theatre critic Daryl Grady, Michael X. Martin as stage manager Johnny Harmon, Michael McCormick as investor Oscar Shapiro, Noah Racey as choreographer Bobby Pepper, Ernie Sabella as producer Sidney Bernstein and Megan Sikora as understudy Bambi Bernet. The company also includes 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.
CURTAINS is directed by four-time Tony-nominee Scott Ellis (She Loves Me, 1776, Steel Pier, 12 Angry Men) and choreographed by Tony-winner Rob Ashford (Thoroughly Modern Millie). The musical comedy's book is by Rupert Holmes (multiple Tony-winner for The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Say Goodnight Gracie) with an original book and concept by Tony-winner Peter Stone (1776, Titanic, The Will Rogers Follies). With music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, additional lyrics were written by John Kander & Rupert Holmes. The show is produced by Roger Berlind, Roger Horchow, Daryl Roth, Jane Bergere, Ted Hartley and Center Theatre Group. To date, the production has been nominated for 8 Tony Awards including 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), Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography; 10 Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Actor in a Musical (David Hyde Pierce), Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Debra Monk and Karen Ziemba), Outstanding Book of a Musical, Outstanding Lyrics, Outstanding Music, Outstanding Set Design of a Musical, Outstanding Orchestrations and Outstanding Costume Design; and a Drama League nomination for Distinguished Production of a Musical, with David Hyde Pierce and Debra Monk receiving Drama League citations.