Brechin Amateur Operatic Society is gearing up to put on Curtains, a musical with a difference – it’s also a who-dunnit.
Though you may not be familiar with the show you’ll soon fall in love with the characters and songs.
Set in the 1950s, it’s opening night in Boston for the cast of Robbin’ Robin Of The Old Wild West. Despite the chorus’s rousing performance of Wide Open Spaces the show is not going well as leading lady Jessica Cranshaw, played with great expertise by Caroline Fenwick, is downright atrocious.
The initial fear is that the show will not survive the critics but no one realises that one of the principals will not survive opening night.
Lieutenant Frank Cioffi of the Homicide division of the Boston police, played with great charm and abundant humour by Graeme Baird, is brought in to investigate the first of a series of murders in the cast. There are plenty of suspects, a number of complicated relationships and more than murder mysteries abound.
Tough talking producer Carmen Bernstein has stepped on more than a few toes in her career and Aileen Fairweather’s gutsy performance with some powerful singing reflects this. She is supported by Pete Coady as her ruthless philandering husband, Sidney, and Brian Matheson as Oscar Shapiro, a long suffering general manager.
Cioffi immediately falls under the charms of ingénue Niki Harris, played by Lauren Ferguson, understudy to the leading lady. But there are more troubled relationships on the go with song-writing team Aaron Fox and Georgia Hendricks. The ballad Thinking Of Him has some stunning singing by Alan Matheson who plays Aaron and his duet with Georgia (Gill Smith) sees their voices blending beautifully.
Gill, in her dual role as a sexy Maid Marion in Robbin’ Robin, gives a vivacious and polished performance.
Ross plays Robyn opposite her Maid Marion and is very convincing and watchable in the role as choreographer Bobby Pepper. Rising ambitious young star Bambi Bernet finally gets the chance to prove herself with Bobby as her dance partner. Erin Smith is delightful in the role and her dancing excels.
Soon Cioffi is solving murders and re-inventing the show with hilarious results, the chorus never failing to please in their energetic movement and harmony singing.
Interspersed throughout the audience enjoy Keith Cuthill’s hilarious portrayal of camp director Christopher with his sarcastic one liners, warm to Teresa Warden as Joany the ever patient stage manager and jeer theatre critic O’ Grady played by Chris Taylor. Steve Middleton as Randy Dexter/Parson Tuck handles his dual roles with style. And Millar Young gives a lively performance as Harv.
The show is directed by Graeme Baird and choreographed by Liz Smith. Musical director Gordon Smith competently leads a talented chorus and slick orchestra though some fabulous numbers.
The show runs from March 4 to March 7 at 7.30 p.m. in Brechin City Hall.