The Cast of 'Curtains' Goes Thataway
This past Tuesday two twenty something girls stood at the box office window of the Al Hirschfeld theatre trying to buy tickets for the final performance of CURTAINS on June 29th. Needless to say these girls are big fans, and like many of the shows passionate fans, they'll be sad to see CURTAINS, which is the final collaboration between John Kander and Fred Ebb, close.
CURTAINS stars four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce, who won a 2007 Tony for his role as Lt. Frank Cioffi, Debra Monk,Karen Ziemba,Jason Danieley,Erin Davie, and Edward Hibbert. Rounding out the cast are John Bolton,Michael X. Martin,Michael McCormick,Noah Racey,Megan Sikora, and Gerry Vichi. The plot revolves around the murder of a talent-less leading lady who is murdered on opening night of a Broadway-bound shows out-of-town tryout. Lt. Frank Cioffi is in charge of finding her killer, but in the process falls in love with one of the show-with-in-a-shows stars, and with the magic of theatre itself. It is perhaps this ode to the joys of the theatre that caused so many theatergoers to fall in love with CURTAINS themselves.
CURTAINS is one of three Broadway shows closing this weekend, and no doubt on the 29th all three theatres will be filled with theatre fans sad to see their favorite show close. In honor of the closing of CURTAINS, and these other shows, we talked to the cast of CURTAINS, the show that celebrates the theatre, to get their thoughts on the shows closing, and what it's like to be part of a Broadway show.
What are your thoughts on being in the last Kander and Ebb musical?
Erin Davie: When I graduated college we had to have a book with songs for auditions. They encouraged us to choose songs we love to sing. I found I had way too mane Kander and Ebb songs and I had to re-edit my book. I never imagined I would get to do this.
Edward Hibbert: Proud and privileged.
Michael X. Martin: I don't think Curtains will necessarily be the last Kander and Ebb Broadway show. The Visit just had a good reception in D.C.
Michael McCormick: Extremely proud and honored, and yet sad that there won't be another.
Megan Sikora: I'm not sure it will be the last, but it's an honor to be a part of such great musical theatre history.
Gerry Vichi: Absolutely thrilled to be a part of this beautiful show! Kander and Ebb are beautiful composers and true gentlemen.
What made you initially want to be a part of this project?
Erin Davie: David Hyde Pierce. I had a crush on him when he was on Fraiser. I still haven't told him.
Edward Hibbert: It's a celebration of show business and a glorious role.
Michael X. Martin: They offered it to me. It was that simple. I love working with Scott Ellis.
Michael McCormick: Deb Monk, Edward Hibbert, and myself were asked six years ago by Scott Ellis to do the first reading. We've been with it ever since.
Megan Sikora: Rob Ashford was choreographing it.
Gerry Vichi: My first Kander and Ebb show was Woman of the Year. That is where I first met them and it was truly a "religious" musical theatre experience.
Do you have a favorite memory from the run of the show or the rehearsal process?
Erin Davie: I love the curtain call when I look to my left and see David, and look to my right and see Karen Ziemba. What company.
Edward Hibbert: Watching David Hyde Pierce and Jill Paice perform the "fantasy" number for the first time in the rehearsal room.
Michael X. Martin: First audience ever, in LA, was fun. A big "first."
Michael McCormick: Too many to fathom.
Megan Sikora: The general silliness and comradery that went on during rehearsal.
Gerry Vichi: Moving from The Drowsy Chaperon when that closed Dec. 30th, 2007, having a fitting Dec. 31st, blocked into the show Jan. 2nd, and performing in the show Jan. 4th 2008.
How much has your character changed throughout the run of the show?
Edward Hibbert: Matured like a fine wine with special thanks to Rupert Holmes for adding more and more one-liners for me!
Michael X. Martin: I don't know how much he's changed, but he has evolved. Things just get richer.
Michael McCormick: Not that much and Rupert Holmes (as he did with others) started to custom fit lines to our portrayals.
Megan Sikora: Probably not much to the naked eye, but to me a lot. I've developed new relationships with new members of the cast and deeper relationships with others (like Deb).
Gerry Vichi: I'm pretty much a one joke guy.
What will you miss most about Curtains?
Erin Davie: The nicest cast I have ever had the privilege to work with.
Edward Hibbert: Working with the best ensemble of performers ever.
Michael X. Martin: The company.
Michael McCormick: The spirit and generosity of this company starting with the great David Hyde Pierce and Deb Monk.
Megan Sikora: The people. I've never worked with a more professional and fun group of people.
Gerry Vichi: The wonderful cast. The 4th floor. Jason's dirty jokes. The comradery and fun backstage. Also, painting in the dressing room with my roommate Michael X. Martin who did cartoons. We had such fun in our own little artists garret.
What's the best part of being in Curtains?
Erin Davie: It's just a fun show to do.
Edward Hibbert: Working with the best ensemble of performers ever.
Michael X. Martin: The company and all the people connected to it.
Megan Sikora: Working with people I love and playing a character completely tailored to me.
Gerry Vichi: I finally got to play the part I did in readings before the production.
Do you have a favorite moment in the show?
Erin Davie: I actually love the opening when the curtain rises and I get to see the audience.
Edward Hibbert: Hearing the overture eight times a week.
Michael X. Martin: I enjoy the moments when everyone is on stage.
Michael McCormick: I always love the scene surrounding the critic's song "What Kind of Man."
Megan Sikora: Watching David Hyde Pierce watch the company perform "Show People." He still gets teary eyed.
Gerry Vichi: Megan's dancing as Princess Kikapoo, and the "Thataway" number. I stood in the wings every night to watch it.
How would you like Curtains to be remembered?
Edward Hibbert: As the smart, melodic, original musical that it is.
Michael X. Martin: I have my memories. Everyone else will have to take care of their own.
Michael McCormick: As the wonderful paean to the American musical theatre- which it is.
Megan Sikora: As one of the great traditional musical comedies of our time.
Gerry Vichi: For what it is. A truly exceptional musical comedy murder mystery with fabulous dancers.
If, for one performance, you could have played a character other than your own who would you have played?
Erin Davie: I'd like to be Deb Monk one day.
Michael X. Martin: I really like my character. Any other would be a far distant second.
Megan Sikora: Nikki, so I could dance the fantasy number with David Hyde Pierce.
Gerry Vichi: Princess Kickapoo.
What are you doing next?
Erin Davie: I am doing a week at the Muny in St. Louis right after this and after that only God knows.
Edward Hibbert: Working on Ang Lee's new movie Finding Woodstock.
Michael X. Martin: Putting down my pen. And then I'll be starting rehearsals for 9 to 5.
Michael McCormick: M. Thenardier in the Les Miserables concert at the Hollywood Bowl in August with Brian Stokes Mitchell and Rosie O'Donnell ad my Mrs. T.
Megan Sikora: Sitting still and healing my wounds.
Gerry Vichi: Minsky's Burlesque.
Production Photos by Joan Marcus
Performer Photos by Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.