On Thursday, May 25, and Friday, May 26, the Lone Peak High School Thespian Society and Theater Club presents a production of “Curtains,” a comic musical murder mystery that premiered on Broadway in 2007 to Tony Award acclaim.
Featuring the most experienced cast in the high school’s short musical theatrical history (“Curtains” is its fourth show), with 20 participating actors, the production is also the largest cast ever staged. Veterans of the Big Sky Broadway summer stage make up more than half of the cast, which includes graduating seniors Ellie Quackenbush, Luisa Locker and Dasha Bough, who have been performing with the local company since 2009. Senior Bridger Babcock, returning for his second show, is also featured in the lead comic role of flamboyant theater director, Christopher Belling.
Babcock, whose girlfriend convinced him to perform in last spring’s “The Drowsy Chaperone,” was surprised by how much he enjoys the stage.
“That’s why I’m back this year,” Babcock said. “My heart races when I’m on the stage which is a cool feeling; it’s a different group of people than with sports—and you don’t have to run when you mess up.”
Senior Evan Redmon, who has been involved in theater since the fourth grade and is playing the role of detective, agrees. “I enjoy the different groups of people,” Redmon said. “You get to sing and be goofy and no one judges you for it.
“Curtains” is a parody of musicals and murder mysteries that follows the story of an on-stage murder being investigated by a Boston detective (Redmon) who falls in love with its leading lady (Anna Alvin/Ava King). Quarantined on stage after members of the cast and crew start disappearing, the show’s cast tries to figure out “whodunit” while continuing to rehearse for their Broadway premiere.
Producer Barbara Rowley, a founder of Camp Big Sky and Big Sky Broadway, picked the show because she knew she would be able to cast it—small class sizes at LPHS can be challenging, especially in casting male roles—and comedy is always a hit.
“People will often say to me, ‘this is better than broadway,’” Rowley said in regards to the youth productions she has worked on. “I’m thinking, ‘you must have never seen a show on Broadway,’ but truly, the kids are amazing.”
Another production, starring 41 Big Sky fourth through ninth graders in “The Little Mermaid” is slated for June 30 and July 1. For “Curtains,” Rowley is joined by director John Zirkle, pianist and musical director Klaudia Kosiak and choreographer Jennifer Waters. Performances are 7 p.m. Thursday, May 25, and Friday, May 26, at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center.
Tickets are available at warrenmillerpac.org or at the door.