Gets and Struthers Come To Pittsburgh CLO In CURTAINS 6/22-27
Experience a night of laughs, mystery and drama when Pittsburgh CLO presents the Pittsburgh premiere of Curtains, June 22 - 27 at the Benedum Center, in the heart of Pittsburgh's Cultural District. The legendary writing team of Kander and Ebb delivers another hit with this hilarious musical whodunit.
Since its Broadway premiere in 2007, the 1950s musical murder mystery Curtains has delighted audiences. When the hapless star of Boston's newest musical dies during her opening night curtain call, the real show begins! Can a stage-struck police detective solve the murder without getting himself killed, or will the lure of the theater prove too irresistible? After an unexpected backstage romance blooms, Lieutenant Frank Cioffi finds himself just as intent on making the show a hit as he is on solving the case! Nominated for eight Tony® Awards, this hilarious Kander and Ebb musical is a tribute to Broadway's Golden Age, featuring such hits as "Thinking of Him" and "Show People."
ABOUT THE CAST
Malcolm Gets (Lt. Frank Cioffi) returns to Pittsburgh CLO as Lt. Frank Cioffi in Curtains. He previously appeared in the 2004 production of 1776 and the 2001 production of Company. New York theatre: The Vigil, The Story of My Life, Amour (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), A New Brain, The Molière Comedies, Merrily We Roll Along (Drama Desk nomination, Obie Award), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Obie), Hello Again, Boys and Girls, Finian's Rainbow, Polish Joke, Juno, and The Boys From Syracuse and The Apple Tree, both for the Encores! series. Regional credits include Williamstown, Yale Rep, Hartford Stage, ACT, Goodspeed and Westport Playhouse. He was Richard, the tortured artist, on NBC's "Caroline in the City." Films include "Thirteen Conversations About One Thing," "Love in the Time of Money," "Adam and Steve," "Sex and the City" and HBO's "Grey Gardens." Mr. Gets sings on many original cast CDs, including Barbara Cook's Mostly Sondheim, his Carnegie Hall debut. His first solo CD, The Journey Home, was released in June 2009 for PS Classics with John McDaniel as conductor.
Sally Struthers (Carmen Bernstein) was last seen at Pittsburgh CLO in The Full Monty (2007) and Annie (2003). She appeared on Broadway in Wally's Café, The Odd Couple and Grease and has starred in numerous Theater Productions around the country. She is a two-time Emmy Award winner for her role as Gloria Bunker Stivic in "All in the Family." She has appeared in the classic films "Five Easy Pieces" and "The Getaway," as well as in television series including "9 to 5," "Gloria," "Still Standing" and "Gilmore Girls." Ms. Struthers attended the famed Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts.
David Elder (Bobby Pepper) makes his Pittsburgh CLO debut. He was most recently seen as Phil Davis in the National Tour of White Christmas. He has also appeared on Broadway in Curtains (Bobby Pepper), 42nd Street (Billy Lawlor, Outer Critics and Astaire Award Noms.), Kiss Me Kate (Bill Calhoun/Lucentio), Titanic (Fleet, the lookout), Once Upon A Mattress (Sir Harry), Damn Yankees (Bomber), Beauty and the Beast, and Guys and Dolls, and portrayed Tapping Timothy Harper in the Encores! production of Strike Up The Band opposite Kristen Chenoweth. TV and film credits include "Across the Universe," "Cradle Will Rock," "Jeffrey" and "The Guiding Light."
Danette Holden (Georgia Hendricks) rejoins Pittsburgh CLO after performing in 2007's White Christmas and Cats. Her Broadway credits include Shrek the Musical, in which she originated the role of The Fairy Godmother, and Laughing Room Only. Other New York credits include The It Girl at the York Theatre and Anything Goes at Lincoln Center. She was also seen in the National Tour of Annie and The Sound of Music at the Aladdin Theatre in Las Vegas. Ms. Holden is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Daniel Krell (Johnny Harmon) has appeared in over 25 productions with Pittsburgh CLO and was most recently seen as Mr. Sowerberry in Oliver! He has acted in major roles in the area's professional theaters such as the Public, City Theatre, Quantum, Playhouse Rep, Bricolage and PICT. Regional credits include Clarence Brown Theatre's A Child's Christmas in Wales (Dylan Thomas) and Gateway playhouse's Forever Plaid (Sparky). Mr. Krell spent three years as a company member of PlayMakers Repertory where he earned his MFA and is a veteran of many films, commercials, voice-overs, and industrials.
Stuart Marland (Christopher Belling) makes his Pittsburgh CLO debut. He has appeared on Broadway in Xanadu, Beauty and the Beast, Jekyll & Hyde and Cyrano - The Musical. National tours include The Producers, Seussical, Evita, Ragtime, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Who's Tommy, A Chorus Line, Sophisticated Ladies and The King and I. Mr. Marland also has regional credits in shows such as Les Miserables, Run For Your Wife and Man of La Mancha.
Kirsten Scott (Bambi) Ms. Scott is a Pittsburgh native making her debut with Pittsburgh CLO. She has appeared on Broadway in Hairspray and off-Broadway in The Marvelous Wonderettes. Her regional credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie, A Chorus Line, Annie Get Your Gun and Beauty and The Beast, and the world premiere of Minsky's. She has performed as a guest soloist with the Cincinnati Pops, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Symphony and Southwest Florida Symphony. She has also appeared on television's "All My Children." Mrs. Scott is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.
Ashley Spencer (Nikki Harris) made her Pittsburgh CLO debut as Eponine in last summer's Les Misérables. She was a finalist on the NBC television series "Grease: You're the One that I Want!" Her Broadway credits include Hairspray (Amber von Tussle) and Grease (Sandy Dumbrowski).
James Stellos (Daryl Grady) is a Pittsburgh native who last performed with Pittsburgh CLO in 1986's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He has also acted with Pittsburgh Playhouse and Odd Chair Playhouse. Regional credits include Mitch in Tuesdays with Morrie and The Young Actor in The Woman in Black at Utah Shakespearean Festival; Mason Marzac in Take Me Out at Ensemble Theatre Company; and Tom/Phyllis/Leslie in Sylvia for McCoy-Rigby. L.A. and NYC credits include Company and Very Warm for May. He has also appeared on television in "Desperate Housewives," "Journeyman," "ER," and "Judging Amy," and in the film "Subbing for Julia". Mr. Stellos is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University.
Rob Sutton (Aaron Fox) makes his Pittsburgh CLO debut. He has appeared on Broadway in Beauty and the Beast. Regional work includes Mamma Mia! in Las Vegas, as well as I Left My Heart: A Tribute to the Music of Tony Bennett; My Fair Lady, Mame, The Music Man, and Paint Your Wagon at Sacramento Music Circus; Camelot at the Westchester Broadway Theatre; Cinderella at the North Carolina Theatre; Oklahoma! at The Reagle Players; and Forever Plaid at Theatre by the Sea. Mr. Sutton is a native of Arkansas and received a master's degree in acting from the University of Arizona.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION STAFF
Charley Repole (Director) made his directorial debut at Pittsburgh CLO with 1990's Cinderella and has since directed over 25 CLO productions. Last summer he directed Barry Manilow's Copacabana. He has performed on Broadway in Very Good Eddie (Tony Award® nomination), Whoopee! (Drama Desk Award nomination) and Doubles. He also directed 1995's revival of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. He has directed a wide range of productions, including events at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, New York's Lincoln Center and various regional productions. He conceived and has directed the annual fund-raising gala for the 92nd Street Y since 1999, working with performers such as Angela Lansbury, Carol Channing and Elaine Stritch. Repole is currently the Chairperson of the Drama, Theatre, and Dance Department at Queens College in Flushing, New York, where he teaches Acting, Directing, and Musical Theatre Workshop.
Michael Lichtefeld (Choreographer) has choreographed over 10 shows for Pittsburgh CLO since debuting his talents in 1989's Grease. His career with the CLO includes Evita, A Little Night Music, La Cage aux Folles, Funny Girl, 42nd Street and two productions of Annie. His Broadway performance credits include 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Evita and Sophisticated Ladies, and his choreography credits include Sweeney Todd, The Secret Garden, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Sound of Music, Jackie Mason's Laughing Room Only and Little Women. He has received nominations for the Drama Desk Awards, the L.A. Ovation Award, and the Outer Critic's Circle Awards for his work. He has also choreographed several off-Broadway shows, national and international tours, and regional Theater Productions at the Houston Grand Opera, the Papermill Playhouse, Kansas City Starlight, St. Louis Municipal Opera and The Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario.
Tom Helm (Music Director) returns for his 15th season with Pittsburgh CLO. He was the Musical Director for Les Misérables and Barry Manilow's Copacabana last season. On Broadway, he was the musical director of Les Misérables, Me and My Girl and the revival of Brigadoon. Mr. Helm was also the musical director for the First National Tour of Cats and conducted Cats on Broadway early in its run. Mr. Helm is also the resident music director at Paper Mill Playhouse.
HISTORY OF THE SHOW
Curtains marks one of the last collaborations by composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb, one of the longest-running songwriting teams in Broadway history. Tony®-winning librettist Peter Stone conceived the musical and developed it over many years with Kander and Ebb before director Scott Ellis helped shape it in readings that led to its commercial run.
Tragically, Stone died in April 2003, leaving the show's book unfinished. Rupert Holmes was hired to complete it, and work continued for one more year. Holmes drew on Stone's original book and concept but re-imagined many other aspects of the show, including the setting and time period, the motives of the characters and the show's solution.
By 2004, Kander and Ebb had four new musicals in the works, with Curtains still at the forefront of development. But on September 11, 2004, work on the show was halted again when Ebb suddenly passed away from a heart attack. Despite the loss of his professional partner, Kander decided to go forward with the show. Two readings of Curtains took place, and Holmes collaborated with Kander to write the lyrics for five new songs. One of the songs, entitled "I Miss the Music," is a poignant tribute to Ebb, in which the character of Aaron Fox laments the loss of his lyricist wife.
The show opened at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles in the summer of 2006, received warm reviews and began previews at New York's Al Hirschfeld Theater on February 27, 2007. The official credits attributed the book to Holmes, music to Kander, lyrics to Ebb, original book and concept to Stone, and additional lyrics to Kander and Holmes. The original Broadway cast included David Hyde Pierce as Lt. Frank Cioffi, Debra Monk as Carmen Bernstein, Karen Ziemba as Georgia Hendricks and Jason Danieley as Aaron Fox. Curtains was nominated for eight Tonyâ Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, and an Outer Critics Circle Award in 2007, winning a Tonyâ Award for David Hyde Pierce and Drama Desk Awards for Holmes, Stone and Monk. The show had a healthy run on Broadway, closing over a year later on June 29, 2008.
ABOUT THE ORIGINAL CREATIVE TEAM
John Kander (Music) and Fred Ebb (Lyrics) were first introduced by their mutual music publisher in 1962, and built their reputation as the Rodgers and Hammerstein of the second half of the twentieth century. Their songwriting career together spanned more than 40 years and resulted in the creation of nearly 20 shows. The pair made their Broadway debut with 1965's Flora, the Red Menace, which included a Tonyâ Award-winning performance by Liza Minnelli, who would subsequently perform much of their work. Kander and Ebb's next show was Cabaret in 1966, which won seven Tonyâ Awards, including one for Best Score. Highlights of their repertoire include Chicago, the revival of which has become the longest-running revival on Broadway; Woman of the Year; and Kiss of the Spider Woman. The pair also scored four films and wrote the beloved song "New York, New York" which was later made famous by Frank Sinatra. After Ebb's death in 2003, Kander continued to work on Curtains, a 1950s murder mystery that the pair never had the chance to finish together. Curtains opened on Broadway in 2007. Kander has continued to pursue projects that the pair conceived together; most recently, The Scottsboro Boys ran off-Broadway this past spring and will transfer to Broadway in October.
Rupert Holmes (Book) was born in England in 1947 and moved to Nyack, New York with his family at an early age. He followed in the musical footsteps of his father by taking up the clarinet, keyboard and other instruments. Music and the radio drama serials he listened to as a child influenced his career as he attended the Manhattan School of Music to pursue composition. After starting out as a session musician, Holmes turned to songwriting. Many of his songs became hits on the Billboard pop charts, including "Timothy" and "Give Up Your Guns," although he is best known for "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)." His career took off when Barbara Streisand discovered his 1947 album "Widescreen" and asked to record several of its songs. Holmes' partiality toward "story songs" led him to begin writing for the theater with 1985's The Mystery of Edwin Drood, for which he won two Tonyâ Awards for Best Book and Best Original Score and four Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, Music, Lyrics, and Orchestrations. Other shows for which he has written the book include Twelfth Night, Accomplice, Say Goodnight, Gracie and Thumbs. Mr. Holmes has also authored three books. Curtains is his most recent show.
Peter Stone (Original Book and Concept) was born in Los Angeles and began his storied career into the entertainment industry by following in the footsteps of his father, a film producer, and mother, a film writer. He received a master's degree from Yale University in 1953 and entered a lengthy screenwriting career, during which he collected over 30 combined television and film credits. His first foray into the theater was Friend of the Family, produced at the Crystal Palace in St. Louis in 1948. Highlights of his remarkable career as a librettist on Broadway include 1776, My One and Only, The Will Rogers Follies, and Titanic. Mr. Stone achieved his elite status as a writer of film, stage and screen by winning an Oscar® for 1965's "Father Goose," Tony Awards® for Titanic, Woman of the Year and 1776, and an Emmy Award® for a 1962 episode of "The Defenders."
TICKETS FOR 2009 SUMMER SEASON
Tickets for Curtains start at $26.50 and are available online at pittsburghCLO.org, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square. Groups of 10 or more may call 412-325-1582.