‘Curtains’ Caps NU Theatre’s Anniversary Season

April 16, 2014  |  by Michael Freedman

Talk about ending Niagara University Theatre’s 50th anniversary season with a bang! From April 24 through May 4, the theatre will present the award winning John Kander, Fred Ebb and Rupert Holmes murder mystery musical, Curtains.

NU Theatre director Steve Braddock will direct the production, while associate professor Terri Filips Vaughan is choreographer and adjunct professor Ellie J. Seib is music director. NU proudly rekindles its longtime relationship with the works of Kander and Ebb with this romantic 1959 era spectacle – a bright, brassy homage to musical theatre, with a twist!

At the Boston opening of a new Broadway-bound musical, the leading lady mysteriously dies on stage. A local detective, a musical theatre fan, endeavors to solve both the mystery and the show’s problems, while simultaneously courting the ingénue. Talk about multitasking!

Curtains was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical in 2007 and it won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical the same year. The production will be on stage in the Leary Theatre within the Elizabeth Ann Clune Center for Theatre, Clet Hall, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, and Thursday, May 1.The musical will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 25, Saturday, April 26, and Friday, May 2. In addition, 2 p.m. matinees will be held on Saturday, April 26, Sunday, April 27 (with post-show discussion), and Sunday, May 4.

Theatre majors who are in the cast include: Dan Urtz of Verona, N.Y. (Lieutenant Frank Coiffi); Marina Laurendi of Lewiston, N.Y. (Niki Harris); Ashley Marie DeMar of Watertown, N.Y. (Georgia Hendricks); Kathleen Denecke of Hamburg, N.Y. (Carmen Bernstein); Matthew Gilbert of Berea, Ohio (Aaron Fox); Nathan Andrew Miller (Sidney Bernstein), Joshua Ranallo (Johnny Harmon), Glenna Rankin (Jessica Cranshaw/Roberta Wooster), and Sean Craig (Brick Hawvermale), all of Buffalo, N.Y.; Nathanial W. C. Higgins of Springville, N.Y. (Christopher Belling); Arianne Davidow of Clarence, N.Y. (Bambi Bernet); Brett Klaczyk of Angola, N.Y. (Daryl Grady); Matthew DiVita of Rochester, N.Y. (Oscar Shapiro); Alex A. Garcia of Greece, N.Y. (Bobby Pepper); Mark Pietruszka of Lancaster, N.Y. (Sasha Iljinsky); Matthew Dell’Olio of Ontario, N.Y. (Randy Dexter); Edward Alba of West Seneca, N.Y. (Harv Fremont); Peter Samuel Raimondo of Brockport, N.Y. (Detective O’Farrell/Stage Hand); Heather Casseri of Tonawanda, N.Y. (Mona Page); Shelby Ehrenreich of Lockport, N.Y. (Marjorie Cook); Clarissa Maloy of Kenmore, N.Y. (Jane Setler); MacKenzie Gildemeyer of Liverpool, N.Y. (Peg Prentice);  Connor Gardner of Medina, N.Y. (Roy Stetson); Steven Sass of Huntington Beach, Calif. (Russ Cochran); and Sabrina Kahwaty of Williamsville, N.Y.; Mary Elizabeth Martin of Albion, N.Y.; and Colleen Pine of Indian Lake, N.Y. (Stage Hands).

Set design is by David Dwyer, associate professor/scenic designer/production manager. Costume, hair and makeup design is by Maureen Stevens, associate professor/costume, hair and makeup designer. Light design is by Patty Rihn and sound design is by adjunct faculty member Glenn Bernardis. Theatre performance major Steven Sass of Huntington Beach, Calif., is assistant choreographer. Stage manager is theatre design/technology major Saige Woods of Buffalo, N.Y. Assistant stage managers are theatre design/technology major Marissa Allen and theatre performance major Elena Victoria Feliz, both of Tonawanda, N.Y.

For tickets and information, please call 716.286.8685 or visit the NU Theatre Box Office.