Curtains! by Dock Mennonite Academy in Lansdale, PA
November 12, 2016
Review submitted by Anna Sherman of Cardinal O’Hara High School
Appalling reviews from The Boston Globe and the death of the lead actress all in the same day? When you are at the bottom, the only place to go is up. Dock Mennonite Academy proved exactly that in their captivating production of Curtains!
Curtains! is a whodunit murder mystery created by award winning Peter Stone. After his death in 2003, Rupert Holmes completed the script. Fredd Ebb wrote the lyrics, set to music by John Kander. Set in the late 1950’s, Lieutenant Frank Cioffi leads us on a captivating journey of twists and turns as suspicions heighten in the pursuit of a murderer hiding amongst the cast. Along the way, a friendship is healed and true love is found.
The stand-out number is this show was undeniably “The Woman’s Dead.” The whole cast came together to honor just-deceased Jessica Cranshaw (Mindy Marinko). Rather than being emotionally distraught, this number was emotionally joyous as they theatrically celebrate the fact that their cast is minus one.
Tying together the lively characters was Lieutenant Cioffi, played by Levi Longacre. Longacre morphed between a detective and a stage-struck romantic as he pursued the case. He was a lively gentleman, radiant with charm. It is more than understandable how Natalie Frank, as Nikki Harris, falls for him. The genuine, organic chemistry between Longacre and Frank was tantalizing and especially notable in their duet “Coffee Shop Nights.”
Additionally, there were two oversized personalities depicted. Christopher Belling (Isaac Longacre) enhanced the show with vociferous one-liners. Longacre wholly encompassed the role of cynical and flamboyant Christopher Belling. With silver hair and spunk, Danica Moyer as Carmen Bernstein was a doyenne and mother to Bambi Bernet (Olivia Messina). She was a powerhouse in “It’s A Business,” educating her daughter on the business side of theater.
The cast excelled with their constant costume changes, as they were all executed with ease. Each character looked put-together for their duration on stage. At times, microphone complications made lines inaudible, but this was not too large of a flaw.
Dock Mennonite Academy’s production of Curtains! was a dazzling performance, proving that the cast members undoubtedly were all “show people.”
Review submitted by Alexis Tuohey of Interboro High School
It was no mystery that Dock Mennonite Academy had a fantastic performance in their opening night of Curtains!
Curtains! is an upbeat and comedic show written by Rupert Holmes focusing on the story of the cast of a musical called Robbin’ Hood who are experiencing negative reviews at the Boston Colonial Theatre. When their untalented leading lady Jessica Cranshaw suddenly dies after the opening night performance, the entire cast is held in the theatre by Lieutenant Cioffi who comes to investigate the sudden death. When more people of the cast and crew fall to tragic deaths, the entire cast and production team become suspects.
Many outstanding performers were prevalent in this production. Lieutenant Cioffi, (Levi Longacre), had terrific stage presence and delivered his lines with ease and excellence. Christopher Belling, played by Isaac Longacre, kept the show upbeat with various comedic reactions that were timed and executed perfectly. Niki Harris, (Natalie Frank), created her character well and gave a nice performance overall.
Other notable actors and actresses graced the stage in Dock Mennonite Academy’s performance. Carmen Bernstein (Danica Moyer) portrayed her character’s development fantastically, being able to balance between Carmen’s business tactics to keep her show open and motherly instincts to make sure her daughter one day makes it to Broadway. Aaron Fox (Kenny Graham) connected with his character’s emotions and showcased his great vocal abilities in the song, “I Miss the Music.” Georgia Hendricks (Haley Mong) also gave a wonderful vocal performance.
The cast as a whole did a job well done. Vocals in all core songs were on point, and the cast’s use of props like handkerchiefs and flashlights in songs such as “The Woman’s Dead” and “He Did It” added an extra special touch to the performance. Lead and supporting cast members’ chemistry with one another never lacked energy or emotion as well.
Dock Mennonite Academy’s stage crew did a commendable job with quick set and scene changes. Stage Crew member Emma Hinnerschitz also made an eye catching scenic drop that added color and vibrancy to the stage.
Dock Mennonite Academy definitely proved that they are “Show People” in their splendid performance of Curtains!