Walnut Street Theatre Presents CURTAINS, Previews 9/7


The Walnut Street Theatre opens its landmark 202nd season with the Philly premiere of Broadway's smash hit, CURTAINS. With Direction and Choreography by Barrymore Award-winner Richard Stafford, this all-new production of Kander and Ebb's backstage murder-mystery/musical begins previews on September 7th, opens on September 15th and runs through October 24th on the WST Mainstage.

CURTAINS is a musical comedy send-up of backstage murder mystery plots, set in 1959 Boston. The story follows the fallout when the supremely untalented star of Robbin' Hood of the Old West is murdered during her opening night curtain call. It is up to a police detective who moonlights as a musical theater fan (David Hess) to save the show, solve the case, and maybe even find love before the show reopens, without getting killed himself. From showgirl kick-lines to suspect line-ups, Curtains is a knock-down, drag-out mystery bound to keep you guessing right up to the final scene.

CURTAINS is based on the original book and concept by Peter Stone, who has won multiple Tony Awards for his books of Titanic, Woman of the Year and 1776. After his passing in 2003, Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) was brought on to complete and revise the book. Combined with the music and lyrics of the incomparable John Kander and Fred Ebb (who's luminous Broadway credits include Chicago, Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Scottsboro Boys and many, many others), CURTAINS premiered on Broadway in 2007 and garnered Eight Tony Award Nominations and Nine Drama Desk Award Nominations.

At the helm of this production as both Director and Choreographer will be Richard Stafford. Mr. Stafford's previous Walnut credits include Direction/Choreography for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (recently nominated for numerous Barrymore Awards including Oustanding Overall Proudction of a Musical and Outstanding Direction of a Musical), Beauty and the Beast and Cats, as well as Choreography for The Goodbye Girl, La Vie En Bleu and Evita. Richard's talents have been on display both nationally and internationally, serving as the Dance Supervisor on the original Broadway run of Cats and Choreographer for Broadway's In My Life. In addition to numerous regional theatre credits, He has also served as Director/Choreographer for multiple national tours and international productions of Cats. Joining Richard is Music and Vocal Director Douglass G. Lutz, who has guided numerous Walnut productions in the past few years, among them The Producers, State Fair, 42nd Street, Peter Pan and many more.

The glitzy, glamorous (and dangerous!) world of CURTAINS' Colonial Theatre will be brought to life by a spectacular team consisting of designers very familiar with the Walnut. Scenic Designer Robert Andrew Kovach (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Producers, Hairspray, Peter Pan) is joined by Lighting Designer Paul Black (The Producers, Hairspray and Peter Pan), Costume Designer Colleen Grady (The Producers, Hairspray, West Side Story, many others) and new-to-the-Walnut Sound Designer David Temby.

The cast of CURTAINS is an exceptionally strong and enormously talented ensemble of actors, most with strong ties to Broadway and the Walnut Street Theatre. Showtune-loving gumshoe Lt. Frank Cioffi is played by David Hess (Born Yesterday, Grand Hotel), whose Broadway credits include Sweeney Todd (title role). Joining David Onstage are returning artists Joey Abramowicz, J. David Anderson, Maggie Anderson, Anne Connors, Jeffrey Coon, Ben Dibble, Mindy Dougherty, Dann Dunn, David Elder, Laurent Giroux, Mollie Hall, Fran Prisco, Kerri Rose, Peter Schmitz, Jonathan Stahl, Ryan James Stauffer, Bill Van Horn, Denise Whelan and Toni Elizabeth White. Newcomers to the Walnut include Jullie Reiber as Niki Harris and Nancy Lemenager as Georgia Hendricks. Ensemble Members making their Walnut debut include Drew Franklin, Jena Vanelslander and Kimberly Wolff.
CURTAINS runs at the Walnut September 7 through October 24. This production is sponsored by Cephalon and Verizon. Media Sponsors are the Philadelphia Inquirer, B101 and NBC 10. For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.

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