Curtains musical logo with text, "The musical comedy whodunit from the creators of Chicago and Cabaret" on background of red theatre curtains

Curtains School Edition

Full-length
School Edition
7F, 7M, Ensemble
All Audiences

Overview

CURTAINS School Edition has been adapted from the original Broadway Production. The School Edition has been carefully edited, with additional director’s notes throughout, to make the show more producible for high school groups. In some cases problematic language has been changed, while in others an alternate choice is offered at the discretion of the director. Additional casting opportunities for female roles has been provided.

It’s the brassy, bright, and promising year of 1959. Boston’s Colonial Theatre is host to the opening night performance of a new musical. When the leading lady mysteriously dies on stage the entire cast & crew are suspects. Enter a local detective, who just happens to be a musical theatre fan! Packed with glorious tunes and a witty, charming script filled with delightful characters, CURTAINS is a hilarious journey for both performers and the audience.

Casting & Production

Casting

5 female, 7 male and 2 gender flexible featured roles

Large ensemble with featured solos and lines

LIEUTENANT FRANK CIOFFI (30’s – 40’s): Sweetly endearing local Boston detective who idolizes the world of musical theatre and has reveled in the thrill of performing in community theatre. Called upon to solve the murder of the star of “Robbin’ Hood” (a musical intended for Broadway that is currently out of town in Boston), Cioffi is very good at his job and, lamentably, married to his work. He is instantly smitten with ingénue Niki Harris. The undisputed central character of the musical. Requires deft and charming comedy, good singing, solid dancing in one extended “Fred and Ginger” number.

NIKI HARRIS (20’s-early 30’s) Pretty, almost too innocent ingénue, a local performer in a small role hoping “Robbin’ Hood” will be the Boston production that at last takes her to Broadway. Love interest for Lieutenant Cioffi, apparently reciprocated. Requires a legit soprano and strong dancing in an extended “Fred and Ginger” number.

GEORGIA HENDRICKS (30’s – mid-40’s, similar age to AARON) Female half of our show-within-a-show’s songwriting team on the lyric-writing side. Ends up taking on the leading lady role. Must sing and dance extremely well.

CARMEN BERNSTEIN (45-65) Brash and brassy Broadway producer. Terrific comedic actress with a belt.

AARON FOX (30’s – 40’s, similar age to GEORGIA) The composer of the show-within-the-show. His songwriting partner, Georgia, is also his wife, from whom he’s separated but for whom he still pines. He’s a handsome, intense, somewhat tortured artist-type. Requires a strong vocalist with comedy.

SIDNEY BERNSTEIN (Late 50’s-Mid 60’s): The always-angry, sleazy, philandering producer of the out-of-town flop. Sidney is rough around the edges and completely self-serving. Requires a cartoon-like character actor who is funny on arrival. No singing required.

CHRISTOPHER BELLING (40-60) English director. Very camp. Very droll. Noel Coward meets Addison DeWitt meets Clifton Webb. Requires a superb comic actor.

BAMBI BERNÉT (Early 20’s-early 30’s) Performer in the chorus, daughter of Carmen, step-daughter of Sidney. Genuinely brassy and artificially blonde. Hungry to work her way out of the chorus; many think she was only hired because of her mother. She surprises everyone, however, when she shows genuine dancing and singing talent when at last called upon. Requires great dancing, strong “street-smart dumb blonde” comedy, and singing.

OSCAR SHAPIRO (45-65): from the garment district and sole investor in “Robbin’ Hood.” A likeably gruff man who knows nothing about theatre and frets over every dime of his that’s spent. Requires good “rough around the edges” comedy and singing.

BOBBY PEPPER (30’s to early 40’s, similar age as Georgia and Aaron) The Gene Kelly of “Robbin’ Hood,” its choreographer and male star, and a handsome rival to Aaron for Georgia’s affection. Requires strong dancing, singing, comedy.

DARYL GRADY (30’s-40’s): Caustic and smug theatre critic for the local Boston newspaper. Patronizingly pompous, enjoys using his power to make or break shows during their Boston tryouts. Does not require strong singing or dancing.

JOHNNY HARMON * (30’s-60’s) Stage Manager of the show-within-the-show, and both drill sergeant and mother hen to the cast. Barks orders but has a pleasant side as well, he keeps the company in line and on their toes throughout the rehearsal process. Comic actor who can sing.

JESSICA CRANSHAW (40’s-60’s) Faded Hollywood star, a grand diva with no right to be one, and a plague to the show-with-the-show and to her cast. An absolutely dreadful singer and inept actress who stars in the show-within-a-show and gets murdered on its opening night in Boston. Must be skillful enough to sing hilariously out-of-tune and ineptly, and adroit enough to dance perfectly out of step with the rest of the cast. Appears only in the first minutes of the musical; on Broadway, this performer then adopted a different look and became part of the ensemble.

RANDY DEXTER (20’s – 30’s) a member of the singing & dancing ensemble featured in “Kansasland,” pleasant but with a sensitive side.

HARV FREMONT (20’s – 30’s) a member of the singing & dancing ensemble who bears a bouquet. ROBERTA WOOSTER (20’s – 30’s) a member of the singing & dancing ensemble who speaks from experience.

ENSEMBLE *Note: the role of JOHNNY HARMON can be played by a woman using the name JENNY HARMON, with all the same character traits as described. It is not recommended that any other roles described above be played by the opposite gender, as it would be contrary to the dynamics of the mystery, the comedy, and the period.

Orchestral Information

15 Instruments*

Keyboard

Woodwind 1: (Flute, Piccolo, Alto Saxophone, Clarinet)

Woodwind 2: (Oboe, English Horn, Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet)

Woodwind 3: (Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone)

Woodwind 4: (Flute, Baritone Saxophone, Bassoon, Clarinet)

Horn 1

Horn 2

Trumpet 1 (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)

Trumpet 2 (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)

Trombone 1

Trombone 2 (Trombone, Tuba)

Guitar (Electric, Banjo, Rhythm Steel, Arch Top, Nylon Acoustic, Steel Acoustic)

Bass (Acoustic)

Drums

*A Piano Conductor score is also included. This is a piano reduction of the score with instrument cues. While primarily intended for rehearsal, it can also be conducted from, or, played AND conducted from (e.g. to compensate for any missing instruments).

Credits

CURTAINS

Book by RUPERT HOLMES Music by JOHN KANDER Lyrics by FRED EBB Original Book and Concept by PETER STONE Additional Lyrics by JOHN KANDER and RUPERT HOLMES

Originally Produced on Broadway by Roger Berlind, Roger Horchow, Daryl Roth, Jane Bergère, Ted Hartley and Center Theatre Group. American Premiere Produced at The Ahmanson Theatre by Center Theatre Group, LA’s Theatre Company.

Upcoming Productions

Nov 0810, 2024
Random Lake High School
Random Lake, WI
Nov 0810, 2024
Random Lake High School
Random Lake, WI
Feb 28Mar 08, 2025
Bartlett High School
Bartlett, TN

View All Upcoming Productions

Resources

ShowReady - TRW Musicals
Stage Tracks - TRW Musicals
Full Conductors Score - TRW Musicals
Subplot Studio Logo for TRW Musicals
Transposition Express - TRW Musicals
BookTix Logo for TRW Musicals
Show T-Shirts