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News : Entertainment Oct 10, 2017 - 7:55:30 AM

Classic Western to play on stage in Stamford

By Curtain Call

One of the greatest tales from the American West – The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - will play on stage for the first time in Stamford beginning Thursday, October 26.

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A saloon in the Wild West, owned by a woman, becomes a makeshift schoolroom when a young scholar from New York City enters her life. Seen here in rehearsal for THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, playing in Curtain Call's Dressing Room Theatre October 26 through November 11, are (L-R) Levy Brunette, Victoria Clougher and Marc Ursone. (contributed photo)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a classic tale of love, honor, ambition and revenge set in the Wild West, 1890. This is the story of good versus evil, of law versus the gun, and of one man versus Liberty Valance.

When a young scholar from New York City travels west in search of a new life he arrives beaten and half-dead on the dusty streets of Twotrees. Rescued from the plains, the town soon becomes Ransom Foster’s home as he finds the love of a local girl, Hallie. This love gives him purpose in a broken land, but is it enough to save him from the vicious outlaw who wants him dead? He must make the choice: to turn and run or to stand for what he believes, to live or to fight… to become the man who shot Liberty Valance.

Can an illiterate saloon keeper in the Wild West, find love with a young scholar from New York City? You never know what to expect in THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE playing in Curtain Call's Dressing Room Theatre October 26 through November 11. Seen here in rehearsal are Marc Ursone and Victoria Clougher. (contributed photo)
Like the hit film of the same name – which starred John Wayne, James Stewart, Lee Marvin and others - the stage version is largely told in flashback, as Foster, now a distinguished US senator, attends the funeral of an old cowboy, Bert Barricune, who was once his rival for the love of Hallie and remembers the events of many years earlier. This version, written by Jethro Compton, is based on the short story by Dorothy M. Johnson. In his forward to the play, Compton wrote, "I wanted to write a play that captured what is for me the true spirit of the American West, the sense of hope and hopelessness, a stark landscape that inspired generations of stories and storytellers and captured the imaginations of many."

“I read dozens of new plays each year and no other script in recent years has held my interest like this one,” said Lou Ursone, Curtain Call’s executive director and producer for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. “This script is an example of some of the best story-telling I’ve ever read,” he added. The novelty of a Western on stage is what drew Ursone to the script in the first place. He noted that like the old film Westerns, there will be gun violence on stage. The subject matter of the Wild West may be inappropriate for those under 16 or so.

In the Wild West town of Twotrees, a single woman owns a saloon and runs it with the help of her dearest friend. Their lives will change irrevocably in THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE playing in Curtain Call's Dressing Room Theatre October 26 through November 11. Pictured here are Levy Brunette and Victoria Clougher. (contributed photo)
This production, directed by Gordon Casagrande (RIDGEFIELD) features Francis A. Daley (DANBURY) in the title role; from STAMFORD: Robert Callahan as the Narrator, Jim Chiles as The Deputy, Victoria Clougher as Hallie, Roger Dykeman as Jake Dowitt, Marc Ursone as Ransom Foster; from NORWALK: Scott Ferrara as the Henchman, Tom Petrone as Marshall Johnson; from WILTON: Kyle Runestad as Bert Barricune; from BRIDGEPORT: Levy Brunette as Jim Mosten.

In addition to Casagrande, the production team includes Peter Barbieri, Jr. (FAIRFIELD) – production design, Christine Mallardi (NORWALK) – costume design, with stage management by Jan Ursone, Stephen Emerick (both of STAMFORD) and Jeff Bianco (NORWALK).

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance will play in The Dressing Room Theatre from October 26 through November 12, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, 8:00 p.m. Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Regular prices are $32 for adults, $25 for senior citizens and $16 for children (up to age 21). Thursday evenings – all seats $25. Seating in The Dressing Room Theatre is cabaret-style with a BYOEverything format. Doors open for seating one hour before showtime. Discounted Flex Passes reduce prices by up to 30%. Box Office: 203-461-6358 or online at

The remainder of Curtain Cal's 27th season includes Sister Act, Is He Dead, Newsies, The Boys Next Door, A Comedy of Tenors and Superman the Musical, in addition to comedy nights, concerts and interactive murder mysteries.

More information is available at or by calling 203-329-8207. Curtain Call is the non-profit community-based theatre company in residence at The Sterling Farms Theatre 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. Curtain Call was voted Fairfield County's BEST LOCAL THEATRE GROUP ten years running in the Annual Readers' Poll of The Fairfield County Weekly and has received similar BEST OF awards from Stamford Magazine and StamfordPlus magazine for 2008 through 2016. Curtain Call received The Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2011 and the ACE Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture from the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County.

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