That’s what musical-loving police Lt. Frank Cioffi must find out in El Dorado Musical Theatre’s latest production. “Curtains” combines murder with musical theater and leads the lieutenant on quite possibly the strangest investigation he’s ever encountered. Not only must he find out who killed “Robbin’ Hood of the Old West’s” untalented leading lady, Jessica Cranshaw, he must also save the show and, if he’s lucky, find love at the same time … all while trying his best not to become the next victim.
Lt. Cioffi’s life is a bit ho-hum, according to actor Matt Surges, 20, who brings the Boston Police lieutenant to life on the stage. He’s settled with it “but wants something more.” Surges, who has acted in five shows with EDMT, said he has no trouble playing Lt. Cioffi, explaining that both he and the character are “kind of quirky.” After all, how many musical theater loving police lieutenants do you know?
“He’s very excited when he gets to work on this case because he gets to go to the theater,” Surges said, adding that he finds more than clues when working back stage. The lovely Niki Harris (Heather Clark, 20) charms Lt. Cioffi. She’s on the suspect list but … he can’t help falling in love.
So is Niki a murderer? “I’m not allowed to say,” Clark said.
Clark has acted in nearly 30 EDMT productions and in “Curtains” she gets to show off all her talents — acting, singing and dancing. She described Niki as “endearingly sweet but a little naive.”
All of the characters in “Curtains” are so well-written said Director Debbie Wilson, who first saw the musical in New York in 2007. “We saw eight shows that week,” Wilson said. “It was my favorite.”
So when the musical’s rights became available Wilson snapped them up and built a cast worthy of “Curtains’” characters that include a big brassy producer, a composer and lyricist trying to save a marriage, a stuffy English director who holds nothing back and a talented actress named Bambi who never seems to catch a break. Then there’s the plot in which three bodies pile up backstage.
“It’s quite the fiesta,” Wilson said.
Forty-two of El Dorado Musical Theatre’s talented cast of actors ages 13 to 20 perform in this production, including Surges as Lt. Frank Cioffi, Helen Regula as Carmen Bernstein, Katherine Sorgea as Georgia Hendricks and Chris Meissner as Aaron Fox.
“Curtains” is based on the book by Rupert Holmes with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. El Dorado Musical Theatre’s production is directed and choreographed by Wilson with Jennifer Martin as the vocal director and Christine Martorana as the costumer.
The musical runs July 22-31 at Three Stages at Folsom Lake College, 10 College Parkway in Folsom. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Fridays, July 22 and 29; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturdays July 23 and 30; 7 p.m. Thursday, July 28 (bargain night); and 2 p.m. Sundays, July 24 and 31. The show is rated PG.