THS raises the Curtain on Curtains
Romance, mystery, and over-the-top comedy are all part of the show within a show that is Curtains, this year’s Trumbull High musical.
“There’s a special kind of people known as ‘show people!’” These are the words spoken by Lt. Detective Frank Cioffi to motivate the dejected cast of “Robb’n Hood,” a troubled new musical trying to make it to Broadway in the opening moments of Curtains. A musical-comedy whodunit, Cioffi simultaneously tries to solve a crime and rewrite a musical into a smash hit.
Faced with a series of snow days and other cancellations, the student cast and crew have had to pull together to adjust and be ready for opening night on March 16.
“Every rehearsal that was cancelled put us 2 ½ hours behind schedule,” said senior Julie Spillane. “The leads ended up doing a lot of rehearsing on our own at each others’ houses.” Another challenge this year has been creating buzz for a show that is not widely known. Curtains opened on Broadway in 2007 and ran for 511 performances. Written by Kander and Ebb, the same team that wrote the popular Chicago and Cabaret, this show is a backstage musical that blends musical comedy with murder mystery.
“When the show was announced in the summer, I had to look it up because I’d never heard of it before,” said senior cast member Carlos Perez. “But as soon as I listened to the cast recording, I knew people would love it. It’s perfect for THS.”
Producer Shannon Bolan said Curtains has a classic format with several splashy production numbers.
“The best way I’ve found to explain it to people is that it’s like 42nd Street meets the board game Clue,” she said.
While the show may be a good time for the audience, the mission of the THS theatre program is serious work, said technical director Matt Bracksieck.
“The philosophy behind our program is to put as many tasks and responsibilities into the hands of students as possible,” he said. “We have students involved in every aspect of the production.” Behind the scenes, senior stage manager Mia McKinney runs rehearsals and directs the stage crew while senior Allie Lewis acts as assistant to the music director. Lighting design by junior James Gallo and Trumbull High alum Everett Rende sets the mood and complements the set which was designed by alumni Stephanie Bont and Sam Maloney.
Director Jessica Spillane said the school’s theater department was lucky to have strong support from the town.
“We look forward to expanding the program’s offerings and outreach in the coming years, and were glad to hear that expansion of extracurricular offerings is in the plan for improving safety and security at the high school,” she said. “Students having activities they are passionate about and a school family to care for are key elements of creating a safe school climate.”
Performances of Curtains will run the evenings of March 16, 17, 23 & 24 at 7:30 p.m. and for a Sunday matinee on March 18 at 2 p.m. Visit thsmusicals.com for tickets information, photos, videos, and more.