There are many reasons to see Staples Players’ production of “Curtains” tomorrow or Saturday.
There’s the usual, of course: Great acting, fantastic music, compelling choreography, Broadway-caliber sets.
And one that’s little-mentioned, but key to any show: costumes.
The cast is big: around 60.
But the costumes are even bigger. Director David Roth estimates there are 400 different costumes in the black comedy/murder mystery/show-within-a-show.
“It’s the biggest costume show we’ve ever done,” he says — and that’s saying something.
Though seldom noticed, costumes are vital to a show. “Performing is about taking an audience to a completely different world,” Roth says. “Costumes do that.”
It’s not just audiences though. Roth sees a major transformation when actors finally put costumes on.
“They walk and move differently,” the veteran director explains. “They even think differently, based on what they’re wearing.”
For the past several years, Players has been blessed to have had 2 superb costume designers. Marjorie Watt and Priscilla Stampa — parents of former Players — spend
countless hours most of their lives helping students create costumes for each show.
“Create costumes” does not do the process justice. They find impossible-to-procure items. They sew, alter, trim. They accessorize, adding scarves, hats, ties and wigs. They even make sure married characters wear wedding rings.
“Unless it’s a really splashy show like ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ audiences are not always aware of costumes,” Roth notes.
“And audiences definitely don’t appreciate the incredible amount of work that goes into making costumes.”
When you see “Curtains” this weekend, enjoy the acting. Applaud the musicians and dancers. Gawk at the set. See if you can figure out who killed Jessica Cranshaw.
But don’t forget the costumes. The designers, costume mistress Kathryn Durkin and her crew will not take a bow.
But “Curtains” would never open without them.
(“Curtains” concludes its run this Friday and Saturday [Nov. 19 and 20] at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, click here. Tickets will also be sold this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at Staples’ main entrance, from 12:30-2 p.m. For more details, call 203-341-1310.)