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New West actors take to the stage in show promising laughter and suspense

Musical-comedy-whodunit Curtains: “Like an Agatha Christie play but with people singing and much funnier.”
New Wests actors Grace Hight, Kat Palmer and Thomas Schultes, from left, are appearing in an upcoming APPLAUSE production.

A trio of New West actors are featured in a musical-comedy-whodunit that will soon be hitting the stage in Vancouver.

Grace Hight, Kat Palmer and Thomas Schultes are appearing in Curtains, running at Arts Umbrella on Granville Island Oct. 13 to 15.

"It's really fun to be part of a musical whodunit, as there are not very many of them written,” Hight said. “It's like an Agatha Christie play, but with people singing, and much funnier."

APPLAUSE! Musicals in Concert is presenting the musical comedy whodunit that features music and lyrics by the Broadway collaborators Kander & Ebb, who also wrote Chicago, Cabaret, Kiss of the Spiderwoman and Zorba.

“I think the audience will love both the comedy and the mystery of it all,” Schultes said.

A press release says audiences can expect an “uproarious evening of laughter and suspense” when “this forgotten musical” hits the stage.

Curtains is a side-splitting parody that cleverly blends the world of musicals with the intrigue of murder mysteries,” said the press release. “The plot unfolds as a detective, inevitably smitten with the leading lady, investigates a murder that occurs right on stage. Trapped in the theatre after cast and crew members start mysteriously vanishing, the show's ensemble must decipher the ‘whodunit’ puzzle while juggling their preparations for a Broadway debut.”

APPLAUSE! Musicals’ unique approach involves just one week of rehearsals, followed by an "in-concert" performance of the entire script and score, with actors holding scripts and minimal staging and lighting to enhance the storytelling.

Curtains’ large cast includes (in alphabetical order): Emily Burden, Vanessa Coley-Donohue, Rebecca Erin Curtis, Cole Devlin, Bronte Gooselaw, Grace Hight, Dakota Hutchins, Brodie Klassen, Jacob Leonard, Loughran MacLeod, Tara Martin, Randy McCormick, Ryan Nuenz, Kat Palmer, Sabrina Prada, Thomas Schultes, Dane Smit, Keri Smith, Peter Stainton, Tessa Trach, Andrew Wade, Bonnie Welch, Michael Wild, and Jessica Wong. Music is being directed by Diane Spiers and the show is directed by Scott Ashton Swan. 

Four performances of Curtains are scheduled: Friday, Oct. 13 (8 p.m.); Saturday, Oct. 14 (2 and 8 p.m.); and Sunday, Oct. 15 (2 p.m.). Tickets are available at

Palmer’s past performing roles have included appearances in the Jessie Award-winning Sweeney Todd (Snapshots Collective), Mary Poppins (Theatre Under The Stars), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat (Align Entertainment) and Fiddler on the Roof (Gateway Theatre). 

Hight, who studied classical voice at Douglas College, is making her APPLAUSE! debut. Past roles include Emma in Confessions of a Grocery Clerk (Vagabond Players/Capricorn Pro.) for which she received an Ovation! Awards nomination for Outstanding Newcomer.

Schultes, who is also making his APPLAUSE debut, has been performing locally since graduating from the musical theatre program at Capilano University in 2019. His past credits include Bobby Strong in Urinetown (CapU Theatre), The Escapologist in Matilda (TUTS), and Custus in Crazy for You (Royal City Musical Theatre).