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Curtains (2007 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording

4.3 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Curtains is an entertaining play within a play, as well as a "whodunit" new musical comedy featuring one of the last scores by legendary, Tony Award-winning songwriters John Kander and Fred Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago, New York, New York). Starring David Hyde Pierce (Spamalot, "Frasier") and Debra Monk, the Curtains original Broadway cast album is produced by nine-time Grammy Award-winner Jay David Saks.

Amazon.com

Sadly, Curtains is the final entry in the long and fruitful partnership of lyricist Fred Ebb (who died in September 2004) and composer John Kander. While the show doesn't reach the heights of the team's previous masterpieces, such as Cabaret and Chicago, it's certainly a lot better than, say, their middling 1997 offering Steel Pier. Deliberately old-fashioned (it even features a real overture, something that's fast becoming a rarity), Curtains is a whodunit rolled into a musical--or vice versa. Set in 1959 Boston, it takes place backstage at a singing-and-dancing Western corker titled Robbin Hood. Someone gets killed, and a show tunes-crazy homicide detective (David Hyde Pierce) is called in. The plot is just a pretext for a series of very entertaining, characteristically brass-heavy songs that may not have the bite of old Kander and Ebb but are still very catchy. Above all, Curtains is (both thematically and stylistically) a love letter to old-school showbiz, and it's delivered on a silver platter by a cast of pros that includes the aforementioned Hyde Pierce, Kander and Ebb habituée Karen Ziemba, endearing Jason Danieley and, a notch above the rest, Debra Monk. Unsurprisingly, she chews the scenery and spits it right back in a pair of rowdy numbers: "Show People" and "It's a Business." --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 5, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Manhattan Records
  • ASIN: B000PC1QKQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,738 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Here's a terrific cast album, one that will remind you of an earlier, more sophisticated time in the history of the Broadway musical. John Kander and the late Fred Ebb wrote some of my favorite scores--CABARET, CHICAGO, THE RINK, and my personal favorite, ZORBA, among others. CURTAINS is a charming show, a real throwback to the musicals I loved when I was younger. Musicals have definitely changed in the last few years, and not all those changes are for the better. This original cast album is a brilliant reminder of that fact.

The score of CURTAINS is a delight, start to finish. It's deliberately silly and old-fashioned, and it's very witty, too. You can always count on Kander and Ebb to provide one new standard song per score, and here the showstopper is the rousing, infectious "Show People." There are also some genuinely funny comedy numbers and a couple of lovely ballads. David Hyde Pierce and Debra Monk are right at home with this material, and they are joined by a supporting cast that really knows how to put on a show.

I don't know when we'll see such a tuneful, intelligent work of art on Broadway again, if we ever do. CURTAINS may well be the last of a vanishing breed of American entertainment. Let's enjoy it while we can. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
This old-fashioned murder-mystery musical (and one of the final collaborations of composing team Kander and Ebb) is an amusing, tuneful show that frequently dazzles as it quietly builds charm making for a satisfying entertainment by it's final curtain. Much of the credit goes to it's expertly chosen cast. Chief among them -- David Hyde Pierce, delightfully mixing wide-eyed, kid-in-a-candy-store wonder with wry earnestness as Boston detective Frank Cioffi, whose community theater credits have given him an addiction to greasepaint. Matching him is Debra Monk, dead-panning up a storm as brassy, trash-talking producer Carmen Bernstein. (One can picture the great Ethel Merman in this role had it actually been written and produced back in 1959!)

Set in 1959, the show opens, appropriately, with the closing scene and curtain calls for "Robbin' Hood of the Old West" (think Destry Rides Again) at Boston's Colonial Theater, its proscenium re-created within that of the Hirschfeld by designer Anna Louizos. The disastrous and detested leading lady (Patty Goble) flubs her lines and screws up her dances before collapsing during the bows. Blistering reviews from the Boston critics next morning coincide with news of her death by poisoning. Enter Cioffi, who sequesters cast and crew in the theater for the investigation's duration.

While sizing up suspects, Frank becomes de facto show doctor, making subtle creative suggestions at first and later entirely overhauling numbers. His ideas are happily accepted by swishy director Christopher Belling (Edward Hibbert, all precision whip-turns and haughty attitude), who has no problem taking credit for other folks' work. Running parallel to the search for the killer in a company rife with motives is the bid to salvage the show's Broadway hopes.
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Format: Audio CD
Nice, witty and pleasant music. Sadly, as the teams last work, it is not on a par with their earlier efforts. I kept expecting the big, gorgeous, soaring ballad of other shows, but it never really comes. I still think Steel Pier is their best work (tho the show didn't work). However when you are the composers of Cabaret, The Happy Time, Zorba, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Woman of the Year, Chicago, and The Rink (among others...), you go down in history as one of the great songwriting teams in American theater.

The performers are all first rate, David Hyde Pierce and Debra Monk are hoots. Karen Ziemba, as always, is wonderful. A major disappointment is that Jason Danielly's beautiful tenor voice is not given more to do. Overall, pleasant fun!!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In the tradition of good old-fashioned musicals that entertain for entertainment's sake comes this terrific, witty, clever, fun musical with a top notch cast and some swell songs. We were lucky enough to see this show several weeks ago. And as grand as it is to watch-- it is super to listen to as well. David Hype Pierce is totally terrific, as is Debra Monk. Karen Ziemba and Jason Daniely are first tier performers as well. The show moves along at a great pace, consistently entertaining. There are some wonderous Kander and Ebb melodies--maybe not on par with Cabaret and Chicago--but nonetheless still extremely good. Everything about the CD says high quality. It is well recorded and the performances are excellent. If you get a chance to see the show, grab the chance! If not, you can still enjoy the show with the playing of this CD. Highly recommended!!
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Format: Audio CD
And even if you are not---the music is great!!!!!! This is the final collaboration between John Kander and the late Fred Ebb--plus throw in the efforts of Rupert Holmes (who wrote the underated MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD--and everyone's favorite guilty pleasure 70's tune--THE PINA COLADA SONG). Anyway, I always thought David was robbed of a TONY nod for SPAMALOT--so his win for this was quite overdue!

Every song is a winner---and it is not just because of Pierce--Deborah Monk also has one of the great show stoppers "IT'S A BUSINESS"!

All theatre buff will enjoy--I certainly did!
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