When: Tue., June 9 2009
On Tuesday, June 9th, Theatre Memphis is putting on a very special performance of Curtains, Kander & Ebb’s last musical. The tuneful murder mystery also will serve as a fund-raiser for the Community Legal Center, a nonprofit organization with a network of more than 250 lawyers who provide free legal representation in civil matters to those who can’t afford to pay for private counsel.
Curtains, which is both a typical backstage comedy and a cleverly imagined whodunit, left a trail of actual bodies in its wake. When Peter Stone, the book’s original author, died before the show was completed, as did lyricist Fred Ebb, Ebb’s composer/partner John Kander called in Rupert Holmes to help him finish the project. Holmes, author of The Mystery of Edwin Drood (and also of “Escape,” the infamous pina colada song), helped to turn Curtains into a big, bright, and sometimes quite silly throwback to American musicals of the 1950s.
Although the play’s victim is a tragically untalented actress, the surprise perp is a character so universally hated that not even the most dedicated member of the Community Legal Center will want to take up his cause. Sad but true.
In addition to the show, there will be a silent auction of gift certificates to local businesses and restaurants and other merchandise. — Chris Davis