Feb 01, 2010 Erin Wisneski Uncategorized
After several months of rehearsals, Baker students are ready to bring “Curtains” to Baldwinsville this weekend.
Set in 1959 Boston, “Curtains” is a murder mystery. After the leading lady of a Broadway-bound musical dies onstage during her curtain call, the cast and crew of the musical all become suspects in her death. It’s up to a theater-loving detective investigating the death to solve the crime and save the show.
“The cast is very excited to be performing the Syracuse area debut of Curtains,” said Bonni Lynn Nelson, the show’s producer.
Curtains is the third show Nelson has produced at Baker High School. Other shows include “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and “Beauty and The Beast.”
“I got involved with the shows in 1999 as a parent volunteer,” Nelson said, adding she was hired as stage manager in 2001 and as producer in 2007.
Written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, who also brought “Chicago” and “Cabaret” to theater, “Curtains” has elements of comedy, sarcasm and pure ridiculousness, Nelson said.
“This is sure to be a musical that will lead you to walk away with toes tapping and a grin on your face,” she said.
With 53 cast members and 13 crewmembers, the show’s leads include Ryan Sparkes as Lt. Frank Cioffi, Marissa McLean as Carmen Bernstein, Ali Niemiec as Niki Harris and Ashley Squairs as Georgia Hendricks. Colin Keating is the executive producer, director and musical director of the show and Cathy Strong is the choreographer.
“This performance marks the Syracuse-area premier of ‘Curtains,'” Nelson said. “We hope that as you watch the performance, you will take pride in the students and community of Baldwinsville for their dedication to great theater for our young people.”
Baker High School will present the musical “Curtains” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 and 5 and at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6. For tickets, call the box office at 638-6039 or purchase tickets at the door. Ticket prices are $8, $10 and $12. The school is located at 29 E. Oneida St. in the village of Baldwinsville.
Here’s the gist
Curtains is a musical who-dun-it while doing it – The year: 1959. The place: Boston’s Colonial Theatre. The action: an opening night performance of a new musical of the Old West called Robbin’ Hood.
During the finale, lead actress (and faded movie star) Jessica Cranshaw hits a sour note. Or two. Or three. She really can’t sing, can’t dance and can’t act – something evident to the rest of the cast, the producers and the first night audience. As she takes her bow, she collapses, (gracefully for once) and is quickly, to everyone’s relief, rushed off to the hospital. There is an immediate interest in replacing her even temporarily, when the news comes that they may need a more permanent arrangement.
Enter Homicide Detective Lt. Cioffi whose appearance and investigation sets off a chain reaction of maneuvers and counters. The show, of course, must go on, and on it goes with new cast members, new numbers and even Cioffi – an amateur thespian himself – getting into the act. It’s an immense puzzle of a crime with romance (as in every good detective story) thrown in for good measure. And it’s no puzzle at all that Curtains, which opened in March of 2007 for 511 performances, received multiple award nominations.
Ryan Sparkes as Lieutenant Frank Cioffi
Ali Niemiec as Niki Harris
Ashley Squairs as Georgia Hendricks
Marissa McLean as Carmen Bernstein
Brian Scott as Aaron Fox
Nick Augello as Christopher Belling
David Kahrs as Sidney Bernstein
Emily Gell as Bambi Berne’t
Robert Kahrs as Daryl Grady
Sean Honsinger as Bobby Pepper
Stephen Moynihan as Oscar Shapiro
Cheryl Chapman as Joanie Harmon
Mackenzie Polzin as Jessica Cranshaw
David Magowan as Detective O’Farrell
Colin Keating as Sasha Iljinsky
John Arquette, III as Harv Freemont
Stephanie Dalaba as Roberta Wooster
Megan Mahar as Mona Page
Matt Noll as Randy Dexter
Ali Niemiec, left, as Niki Harris, and Ryan Sparkes, as Lieutenant Frank Cioffi, examine a gun in a scene from Baker High School’s production of the musical “Curtains.”