MTN is not an abbreviation for “mountain,” but a brand new entry in the cyber lexicology for Musical Theater Nerd – a title many of us would have worn with pride if we had known it existed before this month.
Curtains is a show designed for MTNs, but also for anyone who loves that American art form known as musical comedy, or anyone who has ever played Toto in a community theater production of The Wizard of Oz. Envisioned as a no-calories hoot of a love letter to the quirky dysfunctional denizens of the theater, it is accurately promoted with tongue firmly in cheek as “A New Backstage Murder Mystery Musical Comedy.”
As evidenced by the production at The Wick Theatre, it’s not a perfect piece by any means, but the love that the skillful authors and the talented local artists have lavished on it is so infectious that a willing audience will be entertained.
The premise focuses on a pre-Broadway tryout in Boston in 1959 of a troubled frothy musical Robbin’ Hood! resetting the legend in the Old West. The obnoxious talentless leading diva Jessica Cranshaw (Kimberly Wick), a washed up émigré from Hollywood, is murdered at the final bow of the first preview. Homicide detective Lt. Frank Cioffi (Tony Edgerton) sequesters the entire company overnight in the theater while he investigates. That forces them to frantically rewrite, rehearse and restage the show over the next 48 hours while Cioffi investigates – and we get to watch.