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Reston Community Players Curtains

By • Oct 30th, 2009 • Category: Reviews
Curtains
Reston Community Players
Reston Community Center, Reston, VA
Through November 14th
$21/$18 Student/Seniors
Reviewed October 23rd, 2009

Curtains unfolds in a Boston theatre, where a new musical could be a smash hit, if not for the talent-free leading lady. When the hapless star dies on opening night (to the relief of the entire company!), the detective who arrives to investigate is drawn in by the irresistible lure of the theatre world he has always dreamed about. The biting lady producer convinces everyone “the show must go on!” In the classic musical style of the ’50s, you see dancing mermaids, wild-west cowboys, and solve not one, but THREE murders! Curtains was nominated for 8 Tony Awards in 2007.

After a 2008 Broadway run it was “Curtains” for the Kander & Ebb Tony Award winning musical of the same name. No professional tour, no Kennedy Center performance. As a matter of fact, its first revival is here, in Reston. The first group in the Washington D.C. area to present Curtains, RCP will present a 4 week engagement.

Kudos and Questions. Kudos to the company for undertaking a non-stop whirlwind of a show. High energy, wonderful sets and some outstanding performances make Curtains a memorable evening. Questions as to if this piece of work merits the investment of the time & talent of the Reston Community Players?

The show runs long, the plot is weak and the music less than memorable. Filled with one-liners, chorus girls and every theatrical stereotype that can be dropped , danced or dragged on stage it wallows in quintessential cliches of crass theater. The premise of a musical set against a murder mystery could be very tasty but the barrage of bad jokes, mediocre music and bump and grind choreography are (even under the pen of Kander & Ebb) hard to swallow.

RCP outstanding performances included leading man Blakeman Brophy as Lt. Frank Cioffi who added a wonderful charm, warmth and whimsical humour to the role. Absolutely stellar. The RCP had a solid musical presence in the pit and onstage with a well crafted sound from all onstage. Set in 1959 the costumes though well crafted, were nebullious and not definitive of that era. Dancing was good community theater fare and notable was the footwork of “Bambi.” Choreography included a tribute to camp in the style of Chicago with some more than suggestive dance moves as well as some tastefully done moments throughout the show.

The impact of Curtains is in the execution of the work – not the materials. The work of RCP reflects a solid community theater troupe. There is lots of talented individuals dedicated to this craft. Curtains is not running on or off Broadway for many reasons – but it is worth a four week run on Reston, VA. Check it out!

Photo Gallery

Tom Flatt as Director, Christopher Belling Blakeman Brophy as Lt. Cioffi (Left), Tom Flatt as Christopher Belling & Katie McManus as Georgia Hendricks
Tom Flatt as Director, Christopher Belling
Blakeman Brophy as Lt. Cioffi (Left), Tom Flatt as Christopher Belling & Katie McManus as Georgia Hendricks
Cast of Curtains - Center: Sue Pinkman as Carmen Bernstein Jolene Vettese as Niki Harris and Blakeman Brophy as Lt. Frank Cioffi
Cast of Curtains – Center: Sue Pinkman as Carmen Bernstein
Jolene Vettese as Niki Harris and Blakeman Brophy as Lt. Frank Cioffi
Jolene Vettese as Niki Harris (left), Katie McManus as Georgia Hendricks & Sasha Welch as Bambi Bernet Joshua Redford as Aaron Fox (left) and Blakeman Brophy as Lt. Frank Cioffi
Jolene Vettese as Niki Harris (left), Katie McManus as Georgia Hendricks & Sasha Welch as Bambi Bernet
Joshua Redford as Aaron Fox (left) and Blakeman Brophy as Lt. Frank Cioffi

Photos provided by Reston Community Players.

Disclaimer: Reston Community Players provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. RCP also purchased an advertising banner on the ShowBizRadio web site.

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works nationally and internationally as an opera singer, coach, teacher, conductor and stage director. She is the CEO of Saltnote Stageworks, a non-profit corporation that promotes education & performance opportunities for emerging artists.

2 Responses »

  1. Just wanted to point out that “Bambi” is played marvelously by Sasha Welch.

  2. Here’s an interview with the director, musical director and choreographer of Curtains. Congrats to the wonderful cast and design team for a wonderful time in the theatre. And a special kudo to Andrew’s fine direction and to the incredible musicians that Mark conducted. The score never sounded better. I liked this production better than NYC. By the way. CURTAINS will be launching a National Tour in 2010.

    http://dctheatrescene.com/2009/10/23/community-theatre-prepares-area-premiere-of-broadway-hit-curtains/