Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) announced the cast selected to lead the TUTS and Houston debut of the Broadway smash hit, Curtains, scheduled to play March 29 – April 10 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
Director Mark S. Hoebee comments on this talented cast “I’m thrilled to be a part of this brilliant musical. Curtains left an impression on Broadway, and I know Houstonians are going to be quite impressed with the cast, the music, and the performance this show promises to deliver.”
Curtains follows the unraveling of a theatre company on opening night shortly after the leading actress is knocked off. Detective Frank Cioffi, a musical theatre fan, takes on the case only to find himself dealing with theatrical egos and eccentricities, deceit, a rising body count and a budding love affair – all while sticking to the golden rule of show business: the show must go on. A throwback to the Golden Age of theatre, Curtains will be a musical murder mystery that keeps everyone guessing until the very end!
Robert Newman takes the lead as super sleuth crime solver Lieutenant Frank Cioffi. Newman, a four-time nominee for the Soap Opera Digest awards and two-time Daytime Emmy Awards nominee, is best known for his role as Joshua Lewis in Guiding Light, although patrons will also know him from his stage work. He starred in North Carolina Theatre’s Annie; Algonquin Theater’s Sessions, The Musical; Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera’s A Little Night Music, and he has worked extensively in the Los Angeles theatres. Playing the role of tough-as-nails brassy Broadway producer Carmen Bernstein will be four-time Daytime Emmy winner Kim Zimmer, also of Guiding Light fame as the character Reva Shayne. Her theatre experience includes off-Broadway’s Love, Loss, And What I Wore and Four Dogs And A Bone. The duo will reunite on stage for Curtains after spending several years as Guiding Light’s on-screen power couple.
Ed Dixon returns to the TUTS stage as the comical, pompous British director Christopher Belling. Audiences will remember Dixon from two previous TUTS productions; he portrayed Thenardier in Les Misérables as well as Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Dixon has played in Broadway productions of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, Les Misérables and The Three Musketeers among several others. His national tours include The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, Pippin and Sunset Boulevard.
Amanda Rose plays Niki Harris, the aspiring Broadway actress who attracts the eye of Cioffi. Rose’s credits include the Broadway production of Wicked and the national tours of Wicked, Dr. Doolittle and Oklahoma! Joining her is Kevin Kern, whose theater credits include Broadway’s Wicked, The Wedding Singer, and Les Misérables as well as the pre-Broadway runs of 9 to 5: The Musical and Next to Normal. Kern plays Aaron Fox, one half of a songwriting duo; his other half is his separated wife, Georgia Hendricks, played by Helen Anker. Anker made her Broadway debut in the revival of Promises, Promises after enjoying recent West End productions of Beautiful and Damned, On The Town and Parade.
Bobby Pepper is played by native Houstonian David Elder, who starred in the original Broadway production of Curtains in the same role and boasts credits that include the national tour of Damn Yankees and Broadway’s 42nd Street, Kiss Me, Kate! and Guys and Dolls. Audiences will remember his turn as J.C. from TUTS’ 2007 production of Swing! Featured in the role of Sidney Bernstein is Daniel Marcus, a stage veteran from Broadway’s Urinetown, 1776, Woman In White, Pirates of Penzance, A Christmas Carol, The Apple Tree, The Who’s Tommy and Cats.
Playing the part of Daryl Grady is Aaron Galligan-Stierle, whose Broadway background includes Ragtime and Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical. Assuming the role of Oscar Shapiro, Dick Decareau brings Broadway experience from both Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Raggedy Ann and national tour experience from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Ragtime and Annie. Rye Mullis, who toured with Young Frankenstein and The Scarlet Pimpernel, takes the stage as Johnny Harmon. Alongside him will be Anne Horak as Bambi Bernstein, Carmen’s daughter who is looking to step out from her mother’s shadow and forge her own path on the Great White Way.
Rounding out the ensemble are Monique Alhaddad, Ashley Arcemont, Joshua James Campbell, Lauren DeCierdo, Mathew DeGuzman, Taurean Everett, Becca Kloha, Mary Ann Lamb, Ian Liberto, Patrick O’Neill, Happy McPartlin, Alex Michael Stoll, Molly Tynes, Kyle Vaughn and Dana Winkle.
Based on the original book and concept by Peter Stone and modified by Rupert Holmes, this Broadway gem features the razzle-dazzle musical style of celebrated songwriting duo John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics), the same pair behind hits like Cabaret and Chicago. Additional lyrics are by Kander and Holmes.
Curtains will be directed by Mark S. Hoebee, who also directed the TUTS’ productions of Victor/Victoria and Meet Me In St. Louis. He has also directed national tours of Victor/Victoria starring Grammy winner Toni Tennille, Dreamgirls starring Frenchie Davis, Almost Like Being in Love: An Evening of Lerner and Lowe starring Diahann Carroll and Company. When not traveling to direct a show, Hoebee is the Producing Artistic Director for Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ.
Curtains also features the work of choreographer JoAnne Hunter, whose previous productions include the national tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Broadway’s Spring Awakening, Curtains, The Wedding Singer and All Shook Up. Joining Hunter on the creative team are Music Director Tom Helm, who previous worked on TUTS’ Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, and Sound Designer Kit Bond, who last worked with TUTS on Hairspray. Other members of the creative team include Lighting Designer Charlie Morrison and Scenic Designer Robert Kovach.
Tickets (starting at only $24) are available on-line at TUTS.com, by phone at (713) 558-TUTS (8887,) outside the Houston area at (888) 558-3882, or in person at the Theatre Under The Stars Box Office, (800 Bagby at Walker, Mon-Fri 10a.m.- 6p.m., Sat-Sun 11a.m.- 4p.m.) An audio described performance is available Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 2 p.m.; open captioning Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. The Hobby Center is wheelchair accessible. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more and may be purchased by calling (713) 558-8888 or via email at [email protected]