Ahmanson raises ‘Curtains’ pre-B’way

Berlind will produce Kander-Ebb tuner with CTG

For the second time this season, the Center Theater Group has brought in a Broadway producer to get a new musical off the ground with an eye toward a Broadway run.

CTG will produce the final work from Fred Ebb and John Kander, “Curtains,” at the Ahmanson Theater this summer with Roger Berlind, producer of “Doubt,” “Caroline, or Change” and “Wonderful Town.”

Earlier this season, CTG presented “The Drowsy Chaperone” with financing from the Producing Office, which continues to seek a vacancy for the tuner on the Great White Way.

“Curtains,” which will star David Hyde Pierce, features Ebb’s lyrics, Kander’s music and a book by Rupert Holmes, who has contributed some lyrics as well. Based on Peter Stone’s novel, tuner is set in 1959 Boston and concerns the onstage death of a leading lady. Scott Ellis (“Twelve Angry Men”) will direct.

Tuner will premiere in mid-July and run through mid-September.

Ebb died in 2004. The team of Kander & Ebb wrote “Cabaret,” “Chicago” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman.”

CTG artistic director Michael Ritchie decided to bring the tuner to L.A. after seeing two workshops of the piece last year. Pierce, currently on Broadway in “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” appeared in the workshop production, which Ellis directed.

“It’s an engaging and wildly comic romp — a great summer treat for Los Angeles,” Ritchie said in a release.

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