“Curtains” Up

Inside the Academy’s 2024 Spring Musical.
Morgan Lomax ’24
Keiri Shuyama ’24 and Emma Brading ’25 staging “In the Same Boat” during a rehearsal for the 2024 school musical.

Rehearsals for the musical-murder-mystery Curtains are underway at the Academy! The same singer-songwriter duo that wrote Cabaret (1966) and Chicago (1975) opened Curtains on Broadway in 2007 to much critical acclaim. For that year’s Tony Awards, the show was nominated eight times.

Understandably, students are excited to take part in the production: “Just reading the script had me on my toes!” says Isabella Misrahi, Co-Stage Manager. The plot follows a theater company in 1959 as they produce a Broadway-bound musical named Robbin’ Hood of the Old West. However, when the show’s blundering starlet is murdered, theater aficionado Lt. Frank Cioffi— originally played by David Hyde Pierce—is assigned to the case. 

In the words of actress Amelia Lisco, “Think Murder on the Orient Express, but with songs!” Similar to composers Fred Ebb and John Kander’s other works, Curtains relies on a talented ensemble. Numerous characters’ stories are woven together throughout the musical, giving the audience insight into the murder suspects’ motives and relationships. And, like in many of Agatha Christie’s novels, the story is primarily told through the perspective of an eccentric detective.

Since rehearsals began in January, the cast and crew have been directed by Dance Instructors Christin Kennedy and Erin Dowd. After starring in the 2023 winter musical White Christmas as Martha Watson, Dr. Reilly joined the director’s board for the latest production. She has helped shape students’ interpretation of their character—a role greatly enriched by her experience as an actress.

Although the subject material is inherently difficult, as it unravels a homicide in addition to the characters’ tumultuous relationships, the company and crew are unafraid to confront the challenge. Rehearsals are characterized by laughter and, importantly, commitment. As a testament to the general student body’s support of their SEAsters, senior Crystal Pisello writes: “I’ll definitely be there!”

Performances of Curtains will be in Dragonetti Auditorium at County College of Morris on Friday, April 19th at 7 PM and Saturday, April 20th at 7 PM.



Brantley, Ben. “Curtains – Theater – Review.” The New York Times, 23 March 2007, Accessed 12 February 2024.

Playbill. “Curtains (Broadway, Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 2007).” Playbill, Accessed 12 February 2024.

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