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News : Entertainment Jan 6, 2020 - 6:19:43 AM

Curtain Call comedy kicks off the new year

By Curtain Call

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An unlikely love triangle includes a married man - who's not married, an overly empathetic girlfriend and an unrequited lover...all played for great laughs in CACTUS FLOWER, playing in Curtain Call's Dressing Room Theatre, Stamford, January 9 through 26. (contributed photo)
Young Toni Simmons and middle-aged married dentist Dr. Julian Winston are in love with each other. Toni knows that he is married. What she doesn’t know is that his "marriage" is actually an elaborate lie concocted to keep Toni at arm's length. Julian eventually decides that he really wants to marry Toni but things get complicated further, when he enlists the help of his loyal and devoted nurse/receptionist, Stephanie, to play the soon-to-be "ex" Mrs. Winston.

What follows is a farcical collection of misunderstandings, lies and unexpected romance in Curtain Call’s production of Cactus Flower, playing in The Dressing Room Theatre, January 9 through 26, at the Sterling Farms Theatre complex, Stamford.

This 1965 Broadway sex farce, which Abe Burrows adapted from a French play, ran for three years and more than 1,200 performances. The original cast starred Lauren Bacall, Barry Nelson and Brenda Vaccaro. The play became a very successful film starring Goldie Hawn and Walter Matthau. This production marks the first time it has played at Curtain Call. Producer, Lou Ursone, said, “It’s a light-hearted and very enjoyable comedy for the dark days of winter. I remembered the film version from years ago, but had never seen the show on stage. After reading the script, I knew it would play well in our space. “

Director Richard Mancini said, “I had the pleasure of directing a production of Cactus Flower more than 15 years ago, and though I don't often direct a play more than once, I felt that doing this very funny script after so many years and with a new set of actors would be interesting and fun -- and it has been! I've got a wonderful cast and crew to work with, and they've really sunk their teeth into Abe Burrows' dialogue, the 1960s period trappings (including the music and a few "memorable" dances) and everything else that goes into it. It's been fun to do, and I believe audiences will have fun with it too.

When two people pretend to be married to help one of them with a complex rouse, it's hard to remember who's making believe and who's really in love. That's the story of co-workers, Stephanie and Julian (played here by Gillian Holt and Mat Young) in CACTUS FLOWER playing in Curtain Call's Dressing Room Theatre, Stamford, January 9 through 26. (contributed photo)
Ursone said "The TV series, 'Madmen', brought the 60s back to us quite vividly. Cactus Flower, originally from the 60s, brings us a wall phone, funky scenic colors and groovy costumes that really evoke that time period." If you were alive at that time, you'll feel right at home.

The cast includes Joseph Caputo, Roger Dykeman, Greg Ellis, Betsy Grover, Samantha Holomakoff, Gillian Holt, Aaron Newcome, Kristina Mitchell and Mat Young. Set design is by Peter Barbieri, Jr., costumes by Helen Adams, and lighting design by Jamie LaJoie.

Performances will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00pm and Sunday afternoons at 2:00PM. Doors open one hour before show time for a “bring your own everything” format; seating is cabaret style. The Dressing Room Theatre is located at The Sterling Farms Theatre Complex, 1349 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT. Tickets are $35 for adults, $25 for senior citizens and $17.5 for children. Thrifty Thursday tickets are $27.50. Flex Passes offer discounts of 25% and more. Box Office: 203-461-6358 x 36 or on the web at

Curtain Call's 29th season also includes the Fairfield County premieres Something Rotten and Kinky Boots as well as several other plays and musicals, comedy nights, and an interactive murder mystery. Discounted Flex Pass subscriptions offer savings of 25% and more. Additional 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 educational workshops for all ages 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 Stamford Plus magazine for 2008 through 2018. 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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