Thursday, August 10, 2006

Curtains Meets the Critics

Curtains Meets the Critics

Curtains, the final collaboration between musical theatre genii John Kander and the late Fred Ebb opened last evening at Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre, and the critical reviews have begun to be filed. They're unanimous in their praise for David Hyde Pierce's turn as Detective Frank Cioffi with many touting him as an early Tony pick.

Perhaps the best review comes with 3 1/2 stars from the Los Angeles Daily News' Evan Henerson, who writes, "As both mystery and musical, Curtains is hugely delightful, thanks in large part to a quite-savvy cast and the winning choreography of Rob Ashford."

While Los Angeles Times' Charles McNulty took issue with some aspects of the show, he clearly enjoyed the final product saying, "Consider the tuner doubly vaccinated against boredom. Indeed, Curtains...does what musicals rarely do anymore: entertain....[I]t has an addictive quality that makes Curtains irresistible."

An overall upbeat Jeff Favre of the Daily Breeze opines: "It may not be the best in the Kander and Ebb canon, but under the direction of Scott Ellis, and with a performance by David Hyde Pierce that likely will earn him a Tony nomination when the show goes to Broadway, Curtains harkens back to an era when musicals were meant to be nothing more than spirited fun....Curtains echoes an era when musicals were meant simply to be fun. And there's nothing wrong with that."

On the whole, the Orange County Register's Paul Hodgins gives a generally positive review: "[T]he star-studded Ahmanson staging is a giggly pleasure, and in its best moments -- when those razor-edged Ebb lyrics work in tandem with one of Kander's breezy, disjunct melodies -- Curtains carries a healthy hint of something greater than the present sum of its disparate parts....If an evening of hearty laughs and impressive star power is what you're after, Curtains is the perfect product. But those who hold Ebb and (Peter) Stone to a special standard might be disappointed."

I'll keep you posted as other reviews come in, but this is a great start for the tuner, particularly since any perceived clunky material can be smoothed over en route to an anticipated Broadway run.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
Curtains (The SOB Review) – Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center, Los Angeles, CA (August 10, 2006)
Curtains Set to Rise on Curtains Tonight in LA (August 9, 2006)
Curtains Pulls Advance Buzz (August 1, 2006)
Curtains' Calling on Broadway? (July 24, 2006)
Kander and Ebb's Curtains Set to Rise in LA This Summer (May 11, 2006)

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