Monk, Ziemba and Hibbert Swing on to Curtains of Kander and
A long-in-development musical comedy murder mystery with music by John Kander, lyrics by the late Fred Ebb, and a book by Tony Award-winner Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, "Remember WENN"), the show will be presented by the Center Theatre Group from mid-July through mid-September; specific dates have yet to be announced. Scott Ellis--who previously directed the Kander and Ebb musicals The Rink and Steel Pier--will helm the show, which will feature Hyde Pierce (Spamalot, "Frasier") as a detective who sings showtunes when not solving crimes; Ziemba, Monk and Hibbert will play various other characters. The show will run from mid-July through mid-September; exact dates have not yet been announced.
The musical, which is set in 1959 during the tryout of a Broadway-bound musical, whose cast and crew all become suspects after the the show's leading lady mysteriously drops dead onstage while taking her final bow to the sound of applause. The detective "is a fervent musical theatre fan, (who) allows the company to continue rehearsing while he conducts his murder investigation. He soon finds himself in the middle of the uproarious bedlam of theatrical egos and eccentricities, more murders and even a budding love affair," according to press notes.
Holmes adapted his book from an original libretto by Tony Award-winner Peter Stone (Titanic, Woman of the Year, 1776), who passed away in 2003; lyricist Fred Ebb died in 2004. Work on Curtains has continued since then, and the show would be the first Kander and Ebb musical to premiere on Broadway since the beloved lyricist's passing.
Monk received a Tony Award for her performance in 1993's Redwood Curtain, and was also nominated for her turns in Picnic and Steel Pier. Last on Broadway in Reckless, she has also appeared in Thou Shalt Not, Ah, Wilderness!, the Roundabout revival of Company, Nick & Nora, Prelude to a Kiss and Pump Boys and Dinettes; she also originated the role of Sara Jane Moore in Sondheim's Assassins. An Emmy Award-winner for "NYPD Blue," she has also been seen on screen in Dark Water, Center Stage, The First Wives Club, The Substance of Fire and The Bridges of Madison County; she appeared as a "Little Old Lady Investor" in the recent film version of The Producers.
Ziemba has starred on Broadway in Steel Pier, Chicago, Crazy For You and A Chorus Line in addition to her numerous regional credits. The triple-threat star was Tony-nominated for her performances in Never Gonna Dance and Steel Pier, but won the 2000 Best Featured Actress Tony for Contact. Other credits include The Pajama Game, Allegro and Ziegfeld Follies of 1936 at Encores!, 110 in the Shade at New York City Opera, and regional productions of The Threepenny Opera and Much Ado About Nothing. She, too, appeared in the film of The Producers.
Hibbert is a Broadway veteran who has appeared in the revival of Noises Off, The Green Bird, Marlene, Me and My Girl and Alice in Wonderland. Off-Broadway credits include My Night with Reg, Jeffrey (for which he won an Obie Award), Lady Bracknell's Confinement, Privates on Parade and Dandy Dick.
The songwriting partnership of John Kander and Fred Ebb marked one of the most successful and enduring collaborations in Broadway history. Together, they penned Flora, the Red Menace, Cabaret (their first major hit), The Happy Time, Zorba, 70, Girls, 70, Chicago, The Act, Woman of the Year, The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Steel Pier, as well as The Visit (which was presented at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago but has yet to see Broadway). They also wrote the scores for films and TV specials such as New York, New York, Funny Lady and "Liza with a Z."
Tickets to Curtains are currently available to Ahmanson Theatre subscribers. To order a subscription or for more information, call (213) 628-2772. Visit www.taperahmanson.com for more on the Ahmanson Theatre.