Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Final Curtains Call Set

Final Curtains Call Set

Just last week, it was reported that David Hyde Pierce and other principals from the Broadway musical Curtains had extended their contracts with the show through August. But today, proving yet again that ultimately "It's a Business," the harsh reality of sluggish ticket sales forced a closing notice.

The good, old-fashioned John Kander/Fred Ebb/ Rupert Holmes backstage musical murder mystery is now scheduled to close at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on June 29. When the curtains fall on the tuner, it will have played 511 performances, as well as many more during its 2006 world premiere engagement at Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre.

Regular readers will recall that I loved the Scott Ellis-helmed show from the moment I first saw it on the Left Coast. It left me humming a few of the tunes, including its valentine to live theatre, "Show People." I also believe the production only got better on Broadway.

I'm truly sorry to see Curtains go, but it's at least going out on a high note. Last week, it's box office take was $556,398 with a capacity of 74.9% -- far from shabby for a critically underappreciated show already into its second year.

Something tells me that one day, when the incredibly smart Curtains is ultimately revived -- and make no mistake, it will be -- critics and the public alike will "discover" its brilliance in much the same way they did when Chicago was revived over a decade ago. And almost in spite of Curtains' old-fashioned motif, Kander and Ebb (and this time Holmes) will once again be touted for being way ahead of their time.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
This Goes Out To All The Lovers (Of Theatre) (February 14, 2008)
Curtains (The SOB Revisit) (October 12, 2007)
SOB's Best Of 2006-07: Top Ten Of The Year (June 4, 2007)
SOB's Best Of 2006-07: Best New Musicals (May 22, 2007)
Amazing Candor From Amazing Kander (March 28, 2007)
Did Curtains Rise On Critics' Reviews? (March 23, 2007)
Curtains Finally Open On New Kander & Ebb Tuner (March 22, 2007)
Honorable Mentions: SOB's Singular Sensations Of '06 (December 30, 2006)
Curtains To Rise At Al Hirschfeld Theatre In March (November 3, 2006)
Curtains Meets the Critics (August 10, 2006)
Curtains (The SOB Review) (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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At 19 March, 2008, Anonymous BroadwayBaby said...


I couldn't agree with you more. I thought Curtains was an old-fashioned pleasure from beginning to end with a funny book, great songs , an amazing cast, and great choreography.

I don't know why critics can't just sit back and enjoy old fashioned entertainments like Curtains and Drowsy Chaperone. It seems that only ground breaking shows (such as In the heights, Passing Strange, and Spring Awakening) get raves anymore. Not every show has to be ground-breaking...there is something to be said for an old-fashioned entertainment with an old-fashioned score, old-fashioned choreography with some great laughs and no intellectual agenda.

At 19 March, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

BB, Amen to everything you've just said. And for those who don't like retreads of old movies, wasn't it refreshing that Curtains was cut from virgin material?

At 20 March, 2008, Blogger Esther said...

Hey Steve,

This makes me so sad. Curtains deserved a much longer run. And I'm really surprised given that the cast had all extended their contracts. Plus, it was playing at 75 percent capacity, which I thought was pretty good for the end of winter.

I definitely agree with you and BroadwayBaby. I think the characters are great, I loved the backstage mystery, the big musical numbers, the dancing, especially the duet between David Hyde Pierce and Jill Paice. I thought David Hyde Pierce and Debra Monk were especially wonderful. (And with apologies to all the Raul Esparza fans, I'm thrilled DHP won the Tony!) It was hilarious, and just pure, joyous entertainment. And I still love listening to the cast CD.

I don't know why it had trouble finding an audience, why it couldn't recoup, if the story in Variety is correct. It was just such a fun, delightful experience, with an excellent cast. You'd think it would have been a big draw for tourists, for lovers of classic musical theatre, even for families.

I'll always remember Curtains fondly for being my first Broadway musical, for its incredibly talented and gracious cast, and for the things you did to make it an even more memorable experience. Thank-you for making a special trip to the stage door to get me a souvenir program autographed by the whole cast, and a personal hello from David Hyde Pierce!

Thank-you, my friend, for pointing me in the right direction when I was looking for a musical. It was the first of many times that you've been a great theatre guide!

At 21 March, 2008, Blogger Pinky said...

I agree with what BB said and you're right Steve, it's really refreshing that it's fresh material not adapted from anything that already existed. One observation I got when I saw the show was that the cast seemed to enjoy being onstage together....everyone of them. Maybe that's why the whole principal cast extended....but alas closing notice were soon posted after that announcement. I hope to get to see it one more time before it closes.

At 21 March, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Pinky, Sounds like we share a real affinity for both the show and its terrific cast. Now that it's going to be history, I'll wait with baited breath to learn where these talented individuals will go next.


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