Which Star Dancer has "designs" on the Judges' Choice Award? Which dancer is "cooking" up a recipe for success? And who's most likely to "construct" the perfect routine to wow the judges? These three and eight other self-proclaimed two-left footed volunteers are gearing up for Stamford’s longest-running community theatre – Curtain Call!
Currently celebrating its 26th season, Curtain Call is thrilled to announce the line-up of local celebrities who have volunteered as "Star Dancers" in its 10th annual Curtain Call’s Dancing with the Stars fundraising event. Patterned after the hit television show, this is the ninth 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 20 event. They are partnered with dance professionals from throughout the area. This year's lineup of dancers includes: Sharon Jerry-Collins, Court Monitor, CT Judicial Branch with professional dance partner, Billy Blanks, Jr., Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; Garry Feldman, President, US Computer Connection, with professional dance partner, Donna Fox, a Curtain Call Choreographer; Jerri Graham, Founder, Nothin’ But Foods, with professional dance partner, Ted Thomas, New England Academy of Dance; Angelo Nunzio Grieco, Owner, Sunny & Frankie’s, with professional dance partner, Lauren Nicole Sherwood, Diva Star Productions; Kevin Kane, Owner, Hung Well Signs, with professional dance partner, Suzanne Vita Palazzo, Upper Deck Fitness; Harriette Ketover, with professional dance partner, Bob Blank, Latin Moves Dance Studio; Yve Novotny-Gentile, Owner, Garden of Eve Interior DesignOwner, with professional dance partner, Hazael Rojas, Latin Moves Dance Studio; Timothy McGrath-DiMare, Cake Decorator, DiMare Pastry Shop, with professional dance partner, Iraida Volodina, Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; Charles Pia, Owner, Charles R. Pia Construction and Property Management, with professional dance partner, Jennifer Jonas, Independent Choreographer; Sonia Sotire Malloy, Owner, SPLURGE Unique Gifts and Home Décor with professional dance partner, Ricardo Sopin, Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; Robin Wexler, Special Events Manager, Gilda’s Club Westchester, with professional dance partner, Pavel Bic, Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich.
This year's event will also see a reunion dance with many dancers from the first nine years of this event - details on who will be performing in that number will be released in early April.
"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. (The Kweskin Theatre is celebrating its 45th year!) 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 the 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, the ACE Award for Excellence in the Arts - 2016, and, 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 state arts funding having been drastically cut this year, Curtain Call needs this event to help keep ticket prices down. The night will also include a performances from current Curtain Call's June production of SWEET CHARITY.
"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, Dom Bria, Bob Callahan, Lynne Colatrella, JoAnn Gabriele Latorraca, Lori Mercede, Tom Ormond, Peter Sciaretta, William Squier, Jan Ursone, Lou Ursone and Gail Yudain. "Our board and a large group of amazing volunteers - more than 100 - 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, David's Soundview Catering, EOS, Sushi Charlie, Crystal Rock, Heineken, Broken Shed Vodka and many more.
For more information on tickets, sponsorships, advertising and voting, call 203-329-8207 x11.