Curtain Call’s Dancing with the Stars event returns on Saturday, May 19 with 22 dancers gracing the stage of the Palace Theatre in downtown Stamford. One of the 11 dance teams plans to “wrestle” the title from the others; one’s out to “teach” the others a lesson they won’t forget; and another is planning to “psych” out the competition.
This year’s teams include a WWE executive, a teacher and a psychotherapist among the competitors raising funds for Stamford’s longest-running and only year round nonprofit producing theatre company, Curtain Call. Thomas Carlucci, Senior Director, International Television, WWE, Melisa Viggiano, a kindergarten teacher at K.T. Murphy School and Nadia Fiorita, a psychotherapist from Darien are three of the 11 community leaders who have volunteered for this year’s event.
Carlucci, Viggiano and Fiorita are paired with professional partners, respectively, Linda Cicero, Dance on the DL, LLC, James Calixte, Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich, and Ricardo Sopin, also from Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich.
Patterned after the hit television show, this is the 10th year Curtain Call’s Dancing with the Stars fundraiser will be held at The Palace Theatre. It 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. 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 for $10.00 each and are a major component of the fundraising for this event. (Votes are like sponsorships in a walk-a-thon.)
The others teams include Tracey (Sposi) Downey, U.S. Home Services and her professional partner Cuong Nguyen, Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; Chris Fry, Chief Distribution Mechanic, Eversource and his professional partner, Kimberly Charles, Latin Moves Dance Studio; Josephine Furlin, Manager of The Vault at The Saks Shops Greenwich and her professional partner, Billy Blanks, Jr., Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; Stephen Maggiola, Counsel, CT Attorneys Title Insurance Co. and his professional partner, his daughter, Julia Maggiola, a Curtain Call Choreographer; Willard Miley, SVP, Director of Retail Banking, First County Bank, and his professional partner, Katie Arbulu, Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; Lisa Saba Price, Principal, Newfield Elementary School, and her professional partner, Justin Allen, Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; Meredith Scheine, Owner, Chocolate Works of Darien, and her professional partner, Bob Blank, Latin Moves Dance Studio; and Erik Zeiss, Bartender. Sign of The Whale, and his professional partner, Lauren Nicole Sherwood, Diva Star Productions.
"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 to help keep our community theatre strong," said Lou Ursone, Curtain Call executive director. Since 1972, live theatrical productions have been presented at Sterling Farms, the home of Curtain Call since 1992. 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.
"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 over the past several years, this event provides much needed funding.
"Planning for this year's event started the day after we held our last event," said Jami Sherwood, chair emeritus, who was a volunteer Star Dancer at the orgaization’s first event. Co-chairs Nikki Glekas and JoAnn Latoracca, (also past Star Dancers) are joined by committee members: Diane Arditti, Jeff Brandi, Bob Callahan, Lynne Colatrella, Sonia Sotire Malloy, Lori Mercede, Tom Ormond, Bill Squier, Jan Ursone, Lou Ursone and Gail Yudain. "Our board and a large group of amazing volunteers 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: Bar Zepoli, Chocolate Works, Columbus Park Trattoria, David's Soundview Catering, DiMare Pastry Shop, Flinders Lane, Granola Bar, Judy's Bar and Kitchen, Marcia Selden Catering, Myrna’s Kitchen, Nikki Glekas Events, Parkway Diner, Riko’s Pizza, Sign of the Whale, Some Things Fishy Catering, Sushi Village, Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes, The Water's Edge at Giovanni's and Westfair Productions.
For more information on tickets, sponsorships, advertising and voting, call 203-329-8207 x11.
The remainder of Curtain Call's 27th season includes A Comedy Tenors & Superman the Musical. More information is available at www.curtaincallinc.com 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 2017. 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.