THE PIRATE QUEEN or CURTAINS
Last Edit: BroadwayTonyJ 04:52 am EDT 05/23/23
Posted by: BroadwayTonyJ 04:48 am EDT 05/23/23
In reply to: give me THE PIRATE QUEEN! - bmc 11:05 pm EDT 05/22/23

The Pirate Queen is easily the worst musical I have ever seen that eventually made it to Broadway for a brief, commercially disastrous run. I saw it in Chicago pre-Broadway. It had no redeeming music, and Stephanie J. Block was ludicrously miscast.

Curtains was a clever Kander and Ebb musical that had a respectable (511 perfs, 26 previews) run on Broadway. It might have done better if it had not opened some months before the 2007 stagehands strike. I saw it twice in New York. The storyline reminded me of various 1930's/40's mystery/detective movies I had seen as a child.

In 2017 I had an extensive sit-down discussion with John Kander and his partner. They were a little coy about the inspiration for Curtains, just remarking that Fred Ebb had been a big fan of the mystery/detective genre. I later discovered that the old 1942 film Grand Central Murder with Van Heflin, Sam Levene, and a slew of great character actors undoubtedly was the source or inspiration for Curtains. Its storyline and setting inside a Broadway theater is almost identical to that of Curtains, even the murderer (or at least one of them) is the same.

Curtains has continued to have a life in regional theatre, at least in Chicago. I doubt if The Pirate Queen has ever had a production following its closure on Broadway. Just IMO, of course.
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