July 25th - September 10th 2006:
135 NORTH GRAND AVENUE AT TEMPLE STREET,
February 27th 2007 - June 29th 2008:
AL HIRSCHFELD THEATRE,
302 WEST 45TH STREET,
NEW YORK, NY 10036
Cast (in alphabetical order):
Erin Davie (formerly Jill Paice)
Michael X. Martin
Lt. Frank Cioffi...
David Hyde Pierce
Gerry Vichi (formerly Ernie Sabella)
When the leading lady of musical Robbin’ Hood is murdered on opening night, Lieutenant Frank Cioffi (David) is called in to solve the crime. With every member of the company a suspect, Cioffi has his work cut out for him – not least because the show is dreadful and needs to be fixed. Can the star-struck detective solve the murder, win the heart of the breathy ingénue and make the show palatable for Broadway? (Well, clearly. It’s a delightful family romp.)
Curtains is possibly the most over-qualified musical of all time. Besides featuring Frasier alumni in the shape of David, the Hibbster and director Scott Ellis, the awesome Debra Monk, Jason Danieley and Karen Ziemba also star, and the songs are by legendary duo Kander and Ebb.
Cioffi is the ultimate crowd-pleaser: endearing and starry-eyed, yet smart and somehow bearing some sort of steely cop persona.
David has three numbers: ‘Show People’, ‘Coffee Shop Nights’ and ‘Tough Act to Follow’. He’s on stage almost constantly, and even when he’s just observing numbers you have to watch him – the guy acts with his whole body.
What the critics said:
"David Hyde Pierce ... steps into full-fledged Broadway stardom with his performance here ... [he] fans the audience-wooing spark he demonstrated as the most cowardly of the knights in Spamalot into a steady flame. As the theatre-smitten Cioffi, who winds up solving the show’s artistic problems as well as the murders, this elegantly understated comic makes captivating use of a Boston accent, a diffident air and the instinctive, razor-edge timing he honed on the sitcom Frasier.”
- Ben Brantley, New York Times
“What a masterly humorist David Hyde Pierce is. As Cioffi, he doesn't merely sing and dance supermanfully, he is also a phenomenal comic actor who can contort his body and distort his face in intricate yet subtle ways and rattle off dialogue with effortless, dead-on aplomb.”
- John Simon, Bloomberg News
“Pierce deftly switches back and forth between the cop and the theatre devotee, often in the same sentence.”
- Maria Knapp, About.com
"Pierce, with his polished comic timing and more than serviceable singing skills, is [the show's] most invaluable asset. Combining a doe-eyed apparent docility with a suggestion of mischief, and balancing the seriousness of his role as investigator with his giddy distraction at being thrust into showbiz, he's clearly having a great time up there. His detective is a memorable comic creation who rescues this show from being just another self-satirizing musical spoof."
- David Rooney, Variety
“Pierce is whimsically wonderful every moment.”
- David Richardson, WOR Radio
“Pierce moved (or, in that curtain call, ‘rode’) with unshatterable aplomb - taking the basically comic concept of a tough plainclothes detective as a musical comedy queen, and running with it just as far, and even a bit beyond, as the material could take it. That look of gentle, slightly pained surprise at the entire business of living, a look that served his TV alter ego so well on "Frasier," is one of the musical's very few delights.”
- Clive Barnes, New York Post
“Pierce is wonderful … With the assistance of choreographer Rob Ashford he gives his dancing that touch of awkwardness that marks the amateur, and his passion bears the stamp of the terminally stagestruck.”
- Laura Hitchcock, CurtainUp.com
“Mr. Pierce, whose effervescence and foolproof timing paper over several of the show's less inspired sequences, has evidently taken some dance lessons since Spamalot."
- Eric Grode, the New York Sun
'Coffee Shop Nights’. One of the show’s most memorable songs, not because David’s voice is amazing, but because his delivery is.
Cioffi fake-arresting Daryl Grady by reciting lines from one of his community theatre shows. Always gets gleeful audience clapping. (Though I wish Daryl was slightly less slimy – journalists aren’t all bad!)
Cioffi handing over his chowdaah to Sasha (the conductor). A small moment but very nicely played.
The charming and sweeping dance between Cioffi and Niki during ‘Tough Act to Follow’. If you don’t get even slightly tingly you have a heart of stone! (Though Cioffi’s trembly foot when they kiss is slightly disturbing.)
'In the Same Boat (Completed)’: in which Cioffi leaps about the stage like a mad thing, orchestrating the show’s big number.
“In A Midsummer Night's Dream, my Bottom was very well received.”
[Hey, didn’t they use that joke on Frasier? And, probably, a dozen other places too ...]
[To the company, who are clearly losing their focus on the show]
“Oh will you forget about the murders for a second?!”