A brilliant police detective with a weakness for community theater must nab a killer who's rubbing out cast members in a B-rated musical in the whodunit comedy "Curtains."
The show, presented by the Possum Point Players, opened April 19 at Possum Hall.
Take a leap to 1959 at the Colonial Theatre in Boston, Mass. The new Broadway musical "Robbin' Hood of the Old West," a western rendition of Robin Hood, has just ended its opening night. After the leading lady Jessica Crenshaw, a washed-up Hollywood actress, takes her bow, she collapses behind the curtain and is rushed to the hospital.
The hospital calls show producer Carmen Bernstein and informs her Crenshaw is dead. Bernstein and the cast hold a mock funeral for the fallen star at the theater. But the warm gesture quickly turns frosty when they recount how lousy an actress she was.
In walks Boston police lieutenant Frank Cioffi, who announces to the cast how much he enjoyed "Robbin Hood," although it was met by terrible reviews from critics. He also informs the thespians that Crenshaw's death was a murder and he must sequester everyone at the venue until he finds the killer, who he believes to be in the building. But how can Cioffi save the rest of the cast from death when he can't even save himself from getting involved with the show and tweaking it to his liking?
Don Megee, cast as Cioffi, admits he's never played a character like the lieutenant before.
"It's funny to do," said Megee, 50, of Georgetown. "That was one of the toughest parts of this character — trying to be this No. 1 cop and also loving doing musicals, because the two don't go hand-in-hand. I don't know any Delaware State troopers involved in community theater."
But that's why the character is appealing to Megee. One of his most memorable lines is when Cioffi arrives at the Colonial Theatre and elatedly says to the cast "It's an honor to be on the same stage!" Megee explained. He's sure that line is going to be met with laughs on opening night since the audience will likely be thinking "wow, that came out of nowhere."
Recognizing Rupert Holmes' script for "Curtains" is a bit odd, director Jim Hartzell said his attraction to the show is its humor, choreography and soundtrack, of which the latter is arrayed in a Broadway style with lyrics by Fred Ebb and music by John Kander.
"If you come to this show, you need to sit back and enjoy it. You don't need to get into whys," said Hartzell, 70, of Georgetown. "You don't need to study it — the characters or the situations — because you'll go nowhere with it. They don't make sense."
Page 2 of 2 - IF YOU GO
WHAT "Curtains" the musical
WHEN 8 p.m., Friday; 8 p.m., Saturday; 2 p.m., Sunday. Show dates run through Sunday, April 28.
WHERE Possum Hall, 441 Old Laurel Road, Georgetown
COST $23 adults; $22 seniors and students
INFO possumpointplayers.org or (302) 856-4560