BWW Reviews: CURTAINS at Irving Arts Center

Often, we enter the theatre hoping to be moved, inspired, or educated. Other times, we go simply for the entertainment, and why not? Over at the Irving Arts Center, Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas and their cast of CURTAINS offers exactly that: a fantastic night of pure fun!

CURTAINS is the 2007 award-winning Broadway musical written by Rupert Holmes (book), John Kander and Fred Ebb (music and lyrics). It is a musical within a musical (yes, you read that correctly) about the out-of-town tryout of the new show, Robbin' Hood. Set in Boston's Colonial Theatre, the show is struggling to find its feet, only to have the rug swept out from under the cast when their Diva-in-distress (spoiler alert!) literally takes her final curtain call. Days away from opening night, the show's director must recast the leading lady, restructure the failing show, and keep his team inspired - and alive - in order to make it to Broadway. Fortunately, the Lieutenant assigned to the case is a huge theatre enthusiast, with plenty of tips and tricks up his sleeve, as well as a strong motive for solving the murder and saving the show.

But, just like fictional Robbin' Hood, CURTAINS almost never happened! The original book writer, Peter Stone, died in 2003, so Rupert Holmes was hired to complete it. Then, with Ebb's passing in 2004, Holmes and Kander spent several additional years completing the musical. It took a total of ten long years to raise the curtain (pun intended) on this show - but it was definitely worth the wait.

Here in Irving, director B.J. Cleveland has assembled a top-notch cast. As Georgia Hendricks, actress Ariana Movassagh dominates the stage, showing a true triple-threat performance as she grows from shy writer to scene stealer; the versatile Daron Corkerell adds warmth and depth to ingénue Niki Harris; Corey Whaley's humor and timing as Lieutenant Cioffi keep the audience roaring with laughter and applause; and Sara Shely-Martin's dead-pan humor and Ethel Merman-type voice are a perfect fit for the show-within-a-show's producer, Sidney Bernstein. With 25 talented "show people" among the cast, everyone at Irving Arts Center should be proud of this production.

In addition, choreographer Kelly McCain and musical director Scott Eckert put them to work with exciting musical numbers that fill the stage with energy and fun.

Head out to see CURTAINS before the curtains close for good! The farcical onstage action that accompanies this whodunit show will keep you laughing all night long. For more information, visit www.irvingartscenter.com.

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From This Author Kyle West

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