Which Star Dancer will be a real "animal" on the dance floor this year? Which is the better "suited" to making others look good? And who's most likely to be this year's "diamond in the rough"? These three and eight other intrepid volunteers are all volunteering for Stamford’s longest-running and only producing theatre company?
Curtain Call is thrilled to announce the line-up of local celebrities who have volunteered as "Star Dancers" in its sixth annual Curtain Call’s Dancing with the Stars fundraising event. Patterned after the hit television show, this is the fifth year it will be held at The Palace Theatre in Stamford. Judges’ Choice Awards are presented in male and female categories and are based on the performance at the event. Peoples’ Choice Awards are presented in male and female categories and are based on the number of votes secured in advance and the night of the event. “Votes” are sold beginning today at $10.00 each and are a major component of the fundraising for this event. (Votes are like sponsorships in a walk-a-thon.)
Hosting this year's event will be Bill Evans, Senior Meteorologist for WABC-TV. "Bill has been a judge at the event for the past few years and we had hoped for him to actually dance, so this is step in the right direction," said Lou Ursone, Curtain Call's executive director. "Bill's schedule didn't allow him to dance this year, but now that we've got him out on the dance floor I'm sure he'll be ready to dance next year," Ursone said.
For this year's event, 10 local celebrities/civic leaders volunteered to spend the next few months in preparation for the May 18 event. They are partnered with dance professionals from throughout the area. This year's lineup of dancers includes: Nicole Faugno (STAMFORD) – Senior Colorist at Noble Salon – Professional Dance Partner: Michael Powers - Arthur Murray, White Plains; Nancy Freedman (STAMFORD) -Producer, Stamford All School Musical – Professional Dance Partner: Moises Guerrero - Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; John J. Hickey, III (STAMFORD) - Richard's of Greenwich - Professional Dance Partner: Christine Georgopulo – Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; Kevin Leville (NEW CANAAN)* *CEO, Day 3 Health, LLC - Professional Dance Partner: Collin Klaene *-* Dance With Me, Stamford; Donna Ormond (STAMFORD) Valerie Wilson Travel - Professional Dance Partner: Lou Lopez - Latin Moves Dance Studio; Nagi Osta (STAMFORD) Owner, Nagi Jewelers - Professional Dance Partner: Rosa Fanelli - Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; Fran Pastore (STAMFORD) President & CEO, WBDC, Inc. - Professional Dance Partner: Thomas Varian - Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; Andrew Rowley (STAMFORD) Head of Communications & Marketing, RBS GBM, Americas - Professional Dance Partner: Kelly Butler - Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; Cari Shapiro (WESTON) Group Vice President, Ross Stores -Professional Dance Partner: Ronny Dutra - Dance With Me, Stamford; Jill Tomasello (DARIEN) Director, Advanced Physical Therapy Center -Professional Dance Partner: with Ivan Angelkovski - Dance With Me, Stamford; Dr. Nolan Zeide (STAMFORD) Bull's Head Pet Hospital - Professional Dance Partner: Meredith Landphair - Dance With Me, Stamford.
"As a life-long Stamford resident and member of the arts community here, I can't tell you how exciting it is to see this outpouring of support from our community to help keep our community theatre strong," Ursone said. Since 1972, live theatrical productions have been presented at Sterling Farms, the home of Curtain Call since 1992. Now celebrating its 22nd season, Curtain Call is the non-profit community-based theatre company in residence at the Sterling Farms complex, 1349 Newfield Avenue in Stamford. Year-round productions and workshops are presented by and for area residents in The Kweskin Theatre and The Dressing Room Theatre as well as outdoors on the great lawn for its annual Shakespeare on the Green presentations. Curtain Call has been voted Fairfield County's BEST LOCAL THEATRE GROUP every year since 2005 in the Annual Readers' Poll of The Fairfield County Weekly as well as BEST LOCAL THEATRE by StamfordPlus magazine for the past six years. Also named Best Theatre Group and Best Arts Venue by Stamford Magazine readers. Curtain Call also received The Governor's Award for Excellence in Culture and Tourism - 2011. In a statewide Facebook poll in August 2012, Curtain Call was the state's favorite theatre.
This fundraising event will mimic the popular TV show in that there will be behind the scenes video footage of the couples in rehearsal in addition to live performances and commentary by a panel of judges that night. "The success of our past events has been due in great part to the dance professionals and their studios who volunteer their services to get these amateur volunteers up to speed," Ursone said. Tickets and sponsorships for the event start at $125. "The voting is a great way to get involved in the process," Ursone noted and it is a very important part of the fundraising. With the organization's oil and electric utility bills reaching more than $60,000 annually, Curtain Call needs this event to help keep ticket prices down. The night will also include performances from current Curtain Call productions.
"Planning for this year's event started the day after we held our last event," said event co-chair, Jami Sherwood. Her co-chair, Julia Frisoli was a winner at the 2008 event. The event committee includes: Diane Arditti, Bob Callahan, Lynne Colatrella, Richard Levitt, Betsy Mercede, Lori Mercede, Tom Ormond, Robin Selden, Jan Ursone and Lou Ursone. "Our board and a large group of amazing volunteers will make this event the premier special event in the area," Ursone said.
The cocktail hour, to be held at UConn Stamford, will feature a wide variety of top shelf food and drink provided by such area vendors as Marcia Selden Catering, Columbus Park Trattoria, napa & co., David's Soundview Catering, EOS, Sushi Charlie, Capital Grille, Heineken and Broken Shed Vodka.
For more information on tickets, sponsorships, advertising and voting, call 203-329-8207 x11 or go online to www.curtaincallinc.com and click the Special Events tab.