It is 1959 at the Colonial Theatre in Boston, where Robbin' Hood! A New Musical of the Old West is reaching its conclusion, and the cast sings of their love for the "Wide Open Spaces" of Kansas. The egregiously untalented leading lady, faded film star Jessica Cranshaw, is a triple threat: she can't sing, act, or dance (or remember when to say her lines). She collapses during her opening night curtain call.
The reviews of Robbin' Hood! are bad, and the show has lost its star. Divorced songwriting team Aaron Fox (composer) and Georgia Hendricks (lyricist), together with the show's naive financial backer, Oscar Shapiro, and Carmen Bernstein, the hard-bitten lady co-producer (with her philandering husband, Sidney), bemoan the situation ("What Kind of Man"). The show's flamboyant director, Christopher Belling, has an idea: Georgia can sing, and she used to act, and she knows the show perfectly. She would be a far better leading lady than Cranshaw was, although that is not saying much. As they lament the reception of the play, Georgia is asked to sing something from the show and secretly considers her relationship with her past husband. ("Thinking of Him")
News comes that Cranshaw is dead, and more than that, she has been murdered ("The Woman's Dead"). The entire company comes under suspicion, and Lt. Frank Cioffi of the Boston Police Department is called in to solve the homicide. He also had seen the show and loved it (except for Cranshaw). An amateur performer himself, he feels that "the show must go on." He enthusiastically helps Carmen bolster the morale of the cast ("Show People"). However, since Cranshaw was poisoned in the last minutes of the show and never left the stage thereafter, Cioffi believes that she must have been murdered by a member of the company. Also believing that the perpetrator is still in the building, Cioffi sequesters it. Sidney Bernstein, Carmen's husband, arrives from New York — at least he says he was there at the time of the murder. Other suspects include stage manager Johnny Harmon, inexperienced ingénue Niki Harris, ambitious chorine Bambi Bernét, and the entire cast.
Cioffi is left alone with the winsome Niki, who understudied Jessica Cranshaw but was passed up for the leading role and is now covering for Georgia. The lieutenant is struck by Niki's charm and confides in her about his investigation and his lonely life, married to his job ("Coffee Shop Nights"). She seems to return his affection, so he hopes she is not the murderer. Carmen and Sidney Bernstein ask Boston Globe senior drama critic Daryl Grady to re-review the show with its new lead, and he reluctantly agrees. Director Belling works to re-stage a difficult production number, "In the Same Boat", featuring Niki, Georgia and Bambi, and Cioffi suggests that the song needs to be rewritten. Composer Aaron Fox, alone with Cioffi, confesses that he still loves his ex-wife ("I Miss the Music"). Any doubt that Georgia can carry the show is removed by the dress rehearsal of the big saloon hall number "Thataway!" However, tragedy strikes again as the curtain is rung down, as Sidney Bernstein is simultaneously rung up, with the curtain rope tied around his neck ("The Big Blackout").
Sasha, the conductor turns to the audience to reveal that the hanging was fatal ("The Man is Dead"). A makeshift dormitory has been set up on the stage of the still-sequestered Colonial Theatre. Each member of the company suspects the others ("He Did It"). Cioffi returns from the coroner's office, but he focuses his magnifying glass on whether the show will be ready for its re-opening. Aaron previews his new version of "In the Same Boat" featuring Bobby, Randy and Harv but Cioffi is not yet satisfied with the product and has other advice for the show's creators.
Bambi Bernét, actually Elaine Bernstein and Carmen's daughter, asks that a pas de deux be added for herself and Bobby. Carmen agrees, but she is no stage mother: her duty is to the box office ("It’s a Business"). Bambi does well at the rehearsal of the restaged "Kansasland". Just then, however, a shot rings out from offstage, and Bobby is wounded in the arm, although someone else may have been the target ("He Did It" (reprise)). As Cioffi works on solving the case, he finds clues pointing to Georgia and is about to arrest her when Aaron attempts to takes the blame for her, reviving their romance. Georgia is cleared, and the couple reunite. ("Thinking of Him"/"I Miss the Music" (reprise)).
Cioffi wishes that he could be Fred to Niki's Ginger ("A Tough Act to Follow") and, in an elaborate fantasy sequence, he becomes just that. But he realizes that she has shared a secret with stage manager Johnny. Johnny won't tell the detective what it is, and he is shot and killed before he can reveal any more. Cioffi follows clues in his notebook up into the theater's flyspace high above the stage. He is struck with inspiration...and a sandbag, which sends him tumbling off the rigging. He narrowly escapes death by clutching onto a setpiece, which lowers him to safety. When on the ground, he exclaims that he has solved it...he knows how to best stage "In the Same Boat". Carmen praises Cioffi he is really one of the ("Show People" (reprise)).
Putting together the clues found in Sidney's notebook and Johnny's testimony, Cioffi finally solves the case: the murderer is the critic, Daryl Grady. Cioffi announces to the entire theater that he and Niki are engaged, so Grady reveals that he is in love with Niki and did not want her to move away to New York, so he decided he would do anything to stop the show. Grady takes Niki hostage, threatening to kill her so that Cioffi can't marry her, but is foiled by a convenient trapdoor. After everyone returns backstage to prepare for the reopening, Cioffi privately confronts Carmen: She killed Sidney. Carmen has been secretly acting on behalf of Bambi while pretending to be unsupportive so Bambi would have to work to get ahead rather than rely on nepotism. She wants her daughter Bambi to move on to Broadway, but Sidney was going to close the show. Cioffi agrees to give her until after the show's Broadway opening to turn herself in, and tells her that, with the right lawyer, she could easily be acquitted of what is surely justifiable homicide.
Finally, the show reopens, and Frank and Niki walk into a painted backdrop of a sunset, planning their happily ever after. (In some performances, Frank replaces Bobby as Rob Hood and there is a blackout at the end of Robbin Hood)
Original Broadway principal cast
Lt. Frank Cioffi — David Hyde Pierce
Carmen Bernstein — Debra Monk
Georgia Hendricks — Karen Ziemba
Aaron Fox — Jason Danieley
Bobby Pepper — Noah Racey
Niki Harris — Jill Paice
Christopher Belling — Edward Hibbert
Bambi Bernét — Megan Sikora
Johnny Harmon — Michael X. Martin
Daryl Grady — John Bolton
Oscar Shapiro - Michael McCormick
Sidney Bernstein - Ernie Sabella
A U.S. tour of Curtains is scheduled to start in a limited engagement beginning in March 2010, according to Avid Touring Group. 
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama will be performing the UK Premiere of "Curtains" in Summer 2010.
The first European production opened in Visby, Sweden in April 2009. Produced/directed by Sofia Ahlin Schwanbohm, the cast featured Fredrik Wahlgren (Lt. Frank Cioffi); Clara Strauch (Carmen Bernstein); Ingrid Zerpeas (Georgia Hendricks); and Vilhelm Blomgren as (Aaron Fox).
The New England Premiere of "Curtains" is opening August 13th 2010, for five shows only, at the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line, Vermont/Stanstead, Quebec. The show will be performed by QNEK Productions, the resident theatre company at the Haskell Opera House. 
The first Amateur production of "Curtains" took place at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, IA in February, 2009 
Amateur rights for Curtains are available for high schools and community theatres.
Overture - The Orchestra
Wide Open Spaces - Randy Dexter, Niki Harris, Jessica Cranshaw, Bobby Pepper and Ensemble
What Kind of Man? - Carmen Bernstein, Oscar Shapiro, Aaron Fox and Georgia Hendricks
Thinking of Him - Georgia, Aaron and Bobby
The Woman's Dead - Entire Company
Show People - Carmen, Lieutenant Frank Cioffi and Company
Coffee Shop Nights - Cioffi
In the Same Boat 1 - Georgia, Niki and Bambi Bernét
I Miss the Music - Aaron
Thataway! - Georgia, Bobby and Ensemble
The Man is Dead (reprise) - Sasha (the conductor)
He Did It - Company
In the Same Boat 2 - Bobby, Randy and Harv
It's a Business - Carmen and Stagehands
Kansasland - Randy, Niki, Harv Fremont, Bobby, Bambi and Ensemble
He Did It (reprise) - Company
Thinking of Him/I Miss The Music (Reprise) - Aaron and Georgia
A Tough Act to Follow - Cioffi, Niki and Ensemble
In the Same Boat Completed - Company
Show People (Reprise) - Cioffi and Carmen
Wide Open Spaces (Finale) - Ensemble
A Tough Act to Follow (Reprise) – Company
Awards and nominations
Tony Award for Best Musical (nominee)
Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (Rupert Holmes and Peter Stone, nominee)
Tony Award for Best Original Score (music & lyrics by John Kander & Fred Ebb; add'l lyrics by Kander & Rupert Holmes, nominee)
Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (David Hyde Pierce, winner)
Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical (Debra Monk, nominee)
Tony Award for Best Performance By a Featured Actress in a Musical (Karen Ziemba, nominee)
Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (nominee)
Tony Award for Best Choreography (nominee)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical (nominee)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical (Rupert Holmes and Peter Stone, winner)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Hyde Pierce, nominee)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Monk, winner; Ziemba, nominee)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations (nominee)
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Music (nominee)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics (nominee)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design of a Musical (nominee)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design (nominee)
Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Ziemba, winner)