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Also seen: CURTAINS at San Pedro Playhouse


So I caught one of the final curtains of Curtains this weekend at the San Pedro Playhouse; this murder-mystery musical is obviously B-list Kander and Ebb, with a genial, if undistinguished, score and an old-fashioned script by Rupert Holmes. On Broadway, the evening seemed to fly by, carried by the immense charm of David Hyde Pierce; at the Playhouse, however, Curtains clocked in at nearly three hours, including a few glacially-paced book scenes. As is so often the case with the SPP's mainstage musicals, there were a few standout performances but also some real clunkers; kudos especially to Elise Lopez for taking a wisp of a tune â??“Thinking of Him”â?? and transforming it into nearly into an art-song.

I've never understood why the SPP continues to produce huge, dance-driven shows: Such material is clearly not the SPP's forte. (Members of the men's chorus were still making missteps on closing weekend: not a good sign.) But Rose Kennedy and Laura Briseño knocked themselves out on the costumes â?? particularly for the women's chorus â?? and Vernon Push's cartoony set fit the concept of the evening well.

The Mainstage's sole non-musical offering this year was to be the upcoming farce Boeing, Boeing; this has been replaced by Larry Shue's The Nerd. Remember when the Mainstage used to do Tennessee Williams and Tony Kushner? â??Tis curtains for them, it seems.

--Tom Jenkins, Current Theater Critic

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