Winner of the 2013 Judges' Choice Award - male, Dr. Nolan Zeide of Stamford and his professional partner, Meredith Landphair of Dance With Me, Stamford (contributed photo)
Who's in the running for this year's local Dancing With The Stars event? Who's ready to serve up just desserts to fellow competitors? And who is ready to be crowned a winner again? These three and eight other terpsichorean newbies are all volunteering for Stamford’s longest-running community theatre – Curtain Call!
Curtain Call is thrilled to announce the line-up of local celebrities who have volunteered as "Star Dancers" in its seventh annual Curtain Call’s Dancing with the Stars fundraising event. Patterned after the hit television show, this is the sixth 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 at $10.00 each and are a major component of the fundraising for this event. (Votes are like sponsorships in a walk-a-thon.)
For this year's event, 11 local celebrities/civic leaders volunteered to spend the next few months in preparation for the May 17 event. They are partnered with dance professionals from throughout the area. This year's lineup of dancers includes: Jeff Brandi (STAMFORD) - Senior Merchandising Manager, Carollee LLC – Professional Dance Partner: Virginia Coker - Dance With Me, Stamford; Dominic Bria (STAMFORD) - Senior Account Executive, Salesforce.com - Professional Dance Partner: Kelly Butler – Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; Tammy Felenstein (STAMFORD) Director of Sales, Halstead Properties - Professional Dance Partner: Thomas Varian - Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; JoAnn Latorraca (STAMFORD) - The Waters Edge at Giovanni's Restaurant - Professional Dance Partner: Lou Lopez - Latin Moves Dance Studio; Frank Lucherini (STAMFORD) Owner, Dairy Queen - Professional Dance Partner: Edyta Kwasna - Dance With Me, Stamford; Lisa Maronian (STAMFORD) Owner, Sweet Lisa's Exquisite Cakes - Professional Dance Partner: Adria Barinaga - Dance With Me, Stamford; Ron Rosenfeld (RIDGEFIELD) Owner, New Balance, New Canaan - Professional Dance Partner: Karen Casagrande – Hotshoes; Jim Sabia (STAMFORD) – Retired Stamford Public Schools Teacher – Professional Dance Partner: Meredith Landphair - Dance With Me, Stamford: Nicole Straight (WESTPORT) - Marketing Manager, Marcia Selden Catering - Professional Dance Partner: Ted Thomas - New England Academy of Dance; Kaitlyn Tarpey (STAMFORD) Miss CT 2013 - Professional Dance Partner: - Moises Guerrero - Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; Brooke Troisi (BLOOMFIELD, NJ) Line Producer, Maury Show and Trisha Show, NBC Universal's Stamford Media Center - Professional Dance Partner: Ronny Dutra - 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 23rd season, Curtain Call is the nonprofit 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.
Winner of the 2013 Peoples' Choice Award - Nagi Osta of Stamford and his professionlal dance partner, Rosa Fanelli of Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich (contributed photo)
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 $70,000 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. The event committee includes: co-chair, Robin Selden with Diane Arditti, Bob Callahan, Lynne Colatrella, Nicole Faugno, Juanita James, Richard Levitt, Betsy Mercede, Lori Mercede, Tom Ormond, 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.