Curtains - The Musical Comedy Whodunit (8th April 2010)

I'm going to see Curtains - The Musical Comedy Whodunit tonight!! Was given 2 complimentary tickets to see musical this evening at Porirua Little Theatre by Jono last week. This is another musical that my baby is performing in playing the saxophones and I'm looking forward to see the show :) Jono has had several rehearsals at the theatre located in Titahi Bay over the last couple of weeks so I've heard quite a bit about the musical. He even played me songs from the musical from his iPhone during our drive to Palmerston North last week - need to put faces to the characters singing those songs on stage AND give my support to Jono of course!

Poor Jono hardly has many free nights during the show's season so I offered to cook him dinner tonight instead of him pulling out another pre-prepared meal from his freezer. "Any preference what you would like for dinner?" I texted him yesterday and his response was "Surprise me!". Ok...hmm, will have to dig out my cookbook to see what I could cook for him...Ah-ha! I've always wanted to try Scott's Moroccan lamb tagine with prunes recipe and today would be a great opportunity to test it out :) Bought 2 lamb shanks and had them slow-cooked for 2 hours with herbs and spices - hmm, the whole house smells Moroccan...Scott's recipe was easy to follow but I think I might have put in too much water to cover the meat so the meat wouldn't be as full-flavoured as I would have liked. Ops, sorry Jono - this was my first attempt! Had the meal planned and prepared to suit his schedule since he had a show on tonight so that it would be ready when he walked into the house at 5.30pm from work (I'm not known as Miss Super-Organised for nothing haha!). Was watching Jono's expression as he ate, trying to gauge if my tagine dinner served with couscous and fresh salad was any good. The meat literally falls off the bone...nice...tasted pretty good too...The boy seemed to enjoy it, polishing up his plate really quickly - yes, he likes it! I'm taking it as a good sign and thumbs up to the recipe but note to self to reduce the amount of water used to cook the meat on my next attempt. Lamb tagine, yum! Thanks Scott for sharing the recipe :)

Headed over to Jono's at 6.30pm for him to get changed (looking real sharp in that black pin-striped suit we got made in Sri Lanka!) and picked up his instruments then went to pick up another saxophone player, Richard, and Chris who was accompanying me to the show. Richard plays the baritone sax and it was too huge to fit into the car boot so Chris and I had to prop the carry case on our laps as Jono drove us all to the theatre. Opsie, hope you don't mind Chris...Arrived at the smallish theatre around 7.30pm. Jono and Richard headed to the band pit via the side entrance while Chris and I walked over to the front entrance to our seats. Break a leg (or reed), baby!

Everyone performing in the show was given 2 free tickets (normally $27) to which their family members or friends could redeem via iTICKET and select your seats in the cabaret seating venue. Tonight was the second show of the season that runs from 7th April - 1st May and had a full house mixed crowd of the general public and friends of the cast/crew/band. It was a BYO drinks and nibbles event so Chris and I came prepared - I brought us a bottle of Shiraz and chocolate Easter eggs while he brought us a box of biscuits to share :)

Haha, you wouldn't believe where Jono's seated - right next to me! Our table was one of the tables closest to the stage and exactly next to the pit. Could see him and the rest of the band busy organising their instruments and scores, playing music scales or passages from the scores to warm up before the musical officially started at 8pm. There were other people sharing our table; most tables seat 6-8 people and unless you have a group of such numbers, it is guaranteed you will be sharing the table with others.

From the creators of Chicago and Cabaret, Curtains is a hilarious musical with a murder twist that takes place on the stage at Boston's Colonial Theatre in 1959. The theatre was staging a new musical, Robbin Hood: A Tale of The Old West, where one after another, the members of the theatre gets murdered - first their ever forgetful leading lady dies, then the theatre director, followed by the stage manager. Lieutenant Frank Cioffi (played by Robert Hickey, the same man who played detective in event Death By Chocolate I attended last year) arrives on the scene, has all the theatre cast house arrested until the murderer was found and in the midst of investigation found himself falling for the leading lady's young understudy, Niki Harris. Awe-struck by the 'show people', Cioffi too gets involved in the theatre, giving his insight on how to make the show a hit.

The musical was 2.5 hours long with a 15-minute interval. Jono and the band went outdoors to stretch their legs for a bit - the band played very well together and it was great acoustics in the small theatre. Borrowed the $3 programme that Chris bought at the entrance to read up on the cast during the interval. Ah, so the woman playing the role of Georgia Hendricks, the lyricist and replacement leading lady, had previously starred as Grizabella in CATS in 2008 which I had seen. Joanne Hodgson was fantastic as Georgia, singing and acting beautifully. And Kirsty Justice, who played the role of director Chris Belling was equally amazing despite her role's sarcasms and the pompous English accent! It was quite obvious from just watching Act One who were the seasoned performers and who needed more work on either their singing, acting or performing skills (the chorus singers/performers need to work on their facial expressions and those glazed-over eyes). I don't think it's easy to be a musical performer - one has to be multi-talented and able to juggle singing, acting AND dancing at the same time! Not a simple feat!! I take my hat off Robert - not only has his role as Lieutenant come with loads of speaking lines, he too has to sing and dance (and he's not that young a chap...), which I'm sure required plenty of practice and repetition. Occassionally some glitches here and there with his lines but he was very good at keeping the flow and you wouldn't realise it was a mistake.

The show ended at 10.30pm and both Chris and I thoroughly enjoyed the musical. Very cleverly twisted plot and as the act continued on, we discovered more clues but not enough to accurately pinpoint the murderer. I suspected it was Miss Harris, after all she was SO helpful, presenting death notes and the gun used by the murderer to the Lieutenant but no, it wasn't her..."Then who was the murderer and what were the motives behind killing those deceased cast members?" you ask. Ah, now that's for you to find out when you watch the show. My lips are sealed - you have to see it for yourself because that's the whole point of the show!

Waited for Jono and Richard to pack up their instruments and started drop-offs from 11pm. You were awesome, babe! I watched Jono swapping his saxophones (soprano, tenor and alto) and played them with such smooth transition during the show. Can't help but feel bubbling sensation of pride and just so proud of him. Yes, THAT guy on the sax is MY boyfriend :)


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