Regional Reviews: Florida - Southern
Also see John's review of Curtains
A "whodunit" musical, Curtains manages to hold our interest for the fast-moving two hours and 55 minutes (with one intermission.) Phillips' direction never lets the pacing slow down or falter. Obviously, the cast has to be top notch.
In addition to Mr. Edgerton, the leading female role of Carmen Bernstein is played by Angie Radosh. Ms. Radosh is known in SoFla for her many dramatic roles, and Phillips has brought out her raunchier, funnier side. Add to the mix a terrific vocal belt and she won me over in very short order.
There is terrific support from several of the key players. First and foremost is Kevin Healey Christopher Belling, the director of the show-within-the-show, Robbin' Hood of the Old West . A handsome man of Wellesian stature, Healey has a speaking voice that can descend into a mammoth contralto and he manages to squeeze out every consonant with delicious abandon. Julie Kleiner as the Peggy Sawyer-ish Georgia Hendricks, the songwriter who becomes the star of Robbin' Hood of the Old West, manages to add spark to an underwritten role and wins our hearts accordingly. The acting roles have been very well cast, with standout work from Peter Librach and Alan Gerstel, who has the smallest role as Carmen's husband and manages to have the audience howling with his (very) few lines.
Choreographer Bryan Knowlton has a field day with a splendid group of singer/dancers. All technical aspects are first rate: sparse, yet effective scenery (it is a show within a show, of course) by Dean Landhuis, sharp lighting by Matthew Guminski, and appropriate costuming by Kurt Alger. It took me a few moments to realize that they were using "tracks" rather than live music and credit to musical director, W. Brent Sawyer. What impressed me most is the superb sound design by Justin Thompson. We were in the very last row of the theatre and heard beautifully. Now, if only other theatres will hire Mr. Thompson to improve their less than par sound systems ... well, I can dream, can't I?
Marilynn Wick has a big hit on her hands with Curtains and the Thursday matinee I attended was sold out. This is her third season in Boca and, while her road has had its ups and downs (truth be told, very few "downs"), this is, to me, the most delightfully charming and fun production in her tenure. Congrats to her for selecting a show that many have not heard of in spite of its yearlong run in New York.
The Wick Theatre's next season was just announced and a few of the titles are They're Playing Our Song with Andrea McArdle, West Side Story, and Guys and Dolls. The theatergoing audience in our area has a lot to look forward to. Congratulations to all concerned.
Curtains runs through March 27, 2016, at The Wick Theatre, 7901 No. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. For tickets and other information, call 561-995-2333 or visit www.thewick.org.