Murder Mystery Musical Coming to Stage in October

September 18, 2019

Curtains, a murder mystery musical, is coming to the South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University in October.

Anderson theatre students play the part of a 1959 cast at a Boston theater. As the actors and dancers prepare to take on Broadway, the leading lady’s murder thwarts their production. The cast is suspect, and the Boston police step in to unravel the mystery. The sinister plot is — ironically — full of dancing, singing and humor. 

“We are excited to present the musical, Curtains, October 24 – 26, in Henderson

Auditorium,” said Dr. David Larson, dean of the South Carolina School of the Arts. “This comic masterpiece is a classic play-within-a-play, full of eccentric characters, terrific music and sparkling dances. I hope you will join us as we venture backstage, where the real drama happens.”

Curtains is the directing debut for Dr. David Sollish, the new director of the musical theatre program.  

Dr. Sollish helped choose Curtains for the fall musical just days after he was hired, and he quickly began pre-planning. He said he saw the original production on Broadway a decade ago and found it hilarious. He is eager to begin his time at AU with a fun show. 

Curtains is based on a book by Rupert Holmes, with lyrics by Fred Ebb and music by John Kander and additional lyrics by Kander and Holmes. The Broadway production garnered eight nominations at the 2007 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Though Dr. Sollish has directed more than 60 productions in his career, this is his first time directing Curtains, and he’s excited to be working with new material.

Dr. Sollish has been impressed with the caliber of theatre students at AU. 

“Talent is tremendous here at AU,” Dr. Sollish said. “Most of the students here that I see are what we call triple threats, so they can sing, act and dance equally well. The enthusiasm and the passion are phenomenal.”

Dr. Sollish is directing while professors Terrie Poore choreographs and Dr. Howard Kim directs the music. The cast is led by a group of seniors. 

“I have loved working alongside the cast to establish the crazy relationships within this murder mystery,” said Alexandria Bagwell, a senior musical theatre major who plays Carmen Bernstein, a brassy Broadway producer. “Because there's a show within the show, we also have a lot of fun playing with musical theatre tropes and clichés. I can't wait to give the audience an onstage and backstage view of comedic disastrous drama, and I hope they leave the show with a smile saying, ‘I never saw that ending coming’"

Curtains will be held in Henderson Auditorium October 24-26. Tickets are available now