By: Alex Duh
On Thursday, May 4, Gilman students and families will fill the auditorium in anticipation of Curtains, a musical comedy murder mystery. When asked about the selection of Curtains for this year’s musical, Director Mr. John Rowell explained, “I felt like it was different from shows we’ve done before, a funny murder mystery.” Curtains is set in 1959 in Boston, where the crew members of the Broadway-bound musical Robbin’ Hood: A Tale of the Old West are trying to work out kinks in their musical before it is seen by critics. However, when the talentless lead actress is murdered on Opening night, the entire cast is under suspicion. Theater-loving Boston detective Frank Cioffi confines the crew to the theater in order to solve the murder. During the investigation, though, Cioffi appears just as interested in helping the cast with their musical as he is in solving the murder.
Curtains will be performed by students from Gilman, Bryn Mawr, Roland Park Country School, and the Baltimore School for the Arts. This year, there are 30 actors in the play, 15 to 20 more students behind the scenes, seven faculty members, a new costume designer, and a new set designer helping Mr. Rowell to create and perform the musical. Like the previous year, there is a wide range of grades contributing to the play. John Ball (’17), a veteran of Gilman musicals, remarks, “We’ve got an incredibly good cast.” Mr. Rowell added, “The cast have been great, and very enthusiastic. They’re really focused and working really hard.”
Cast members and Mr. Rowell remark on the multidimensional aspect of Curtains. The cast is highly enthusiastic about the musical, which promises to be both energetic and hilarious. Grace Felder (Bryn Mawr, ’17), playing Robbin’ Hood’s bold producer Carmen Bernstein, declares, “It’s one of the funniest shows I’ve ever been in or seen, and it’s a really good time. It’s a show that makes you feel good, and will make you laugh.” Ben Levinson (’19), playing the show’s sarcastic British director Christopher Belling, likes the suspense in the musical: “It’ll keep you on the edge of your seat ‘til the very end.” John Ball, playing detective Frank Cioffi, describes the musical as “...hysterical. It’s so much fun and so high energy. This show is going to be a total evening of rip-roaring laughter and suspense.” On top of the mixture of comedy and suspense, Mr. Rowell also likes the musical for its excellent score: “It’s the last musical that John Kander and Fred Ebb wrote. They’re one of the great Broadway songwriting teams- Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman.”
When asked what part of Curtains would most appeal to the audience, Mr. Rowell answered that it has something for everyone: “I think that people who love musicals will love Curtains, I think people who love murder mysteries will love Curtains, and we have so many talented people working on it.”