Theatre Review: Magnificent Meta Musical

review

Curtains, book by Rupert Holmes, music by John Kander, and lyrics by Fred Ebb; produced by The Barn Players: seen November 2, 2012

First, a caveat: I attended opening night of Curtains at The Barn Players not as a reviewer, so this is a lot looser and less structured than others I’ve written. I attended the production because I was vaguely familiar with the music, love Kander & Ebb, and wanted to see something new (at least to me).

What I got was a fun night, filled with some great singing (special note out to JC Dresslaer, who did an awesome job as Georgia) and dancing (Dana Arnott’s Bambi did some of the more interesting choreography). And Stasha Case gets a high five for the best use of her stage time, as leading lady (and murder victim) Jessica Cranshaw, appropriately stealing the show for her little bit she’s on stage.

The meta aspect of it (a show within a show) was right up my alley, and director Kipp Simmons did a great job of remembering that yes, there is a fourth wall, and it needs to be broken – hard – in this show. Especially fun were the knowing winks whenever Curt Crespino’s Frank Cioffi made comments about community theatre.

And yes, as a community theatre production, there were some minor issues. The microphones had some problems, and there were too many times when characters that were intended to be talking (or singing) to each other were actually facing too far toward the audience making the conversation look fake. But these issues were few and far between, and the talent of the cast more than made up for it.

If you’re a fan of musicals, and love ‘show within a show’ ideas, I heartily recommend you check out Curtains at The Barn Players. It plays until November 18, and more information can be found at www.thebarnplayers.org.

This review has been posted to the KC Stage review system. Agree or disagree? You can rate / review this show yourself (requires free registration) by going to KC Stage.