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News : Entertainment Jul 3, 2019 - 5:40:15 AM

Free Shakespeare returns to Stamford July 11

By Curtain Call

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Cast and crew members from this summer's production of Much Ado About Nothing, as well as company members from past years, work at building Curtain Call's Globe Theatre stage for the 16th annual Shakespeare on the Green production playing July 11 through 21 in Stamford. (contributed photo)
“I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves me.” So says Beatrice of her lover, Benedick, in Much Ado About Nothing - gives you an idea of the ways of love in this wonderful Shakespearean comedy playing at Curtain Call beginning July 11.

“Much Ado has always been my favorite of Shakespeare’s plays, mainly because of the banter between these two lovers,” said Lou Ursone, Curtain Call’s executive director and producer. Curtain Call's Shakespeare on the Green presentation, of Much Ado About Nothing will play July 11 through 21, marking the organizations 16th annual free, outdoor production.

Cast and crew members from this summer's production of Much Ado About Nothing, as well as company members from past years, work at building Curtain Call's Globe Theatre stage for the 16th annual Shakespeare on the Green production playing July 11 through 21 in Stamford. (contributed photo)
Love is in the air in Much Ado About Nothing when Don Pedro’s army, drunk with victory from the war, descends upon Leonato’s country estate in Messina, Italy. Traveling with him is Claudio, who wants to marry Leonato’s daughter Hero. Meanwhile, Claudio’s friend Benedick and Leonato’s lively niece, Beatrice, hide their mutual attraction behind a volley of witty insults. But Claudio is tricked into rejecting Hero at the altar on the erroneous belief that she has been unfaithful. A linguistically challenged guard and his sidekicks uncover the plot, casting a beam of hopefulness in this tempestuous landscape of love. And though the title could be All’s Well That Ends Well, the journey to the end is what makes this romantic comedy so enjoyable.

This is the fifth year that Kyle Runestad will be directing for Curtain Call. He previously appeared on stage in nine Shakespeare on the Green productions and was most recently seen in Curtain Call’s production of Shakespeare in Love. "I'm thrilled to have Kyle back with us," said Lou Ursone, Curtain Call executive director. "He's passionate about Shakespeare and really knows how to work with actors to get the most out of them," he added. In addition to Runestad, Robin Mazzola serves as costume designer with set design by Peter Barbieri, Jr., and lighting design by Ellie Mallardi. The stage management team, led by Jan Ursone, includes Martha Dombroski and John Zimmerman.

Nestled among the pine trees of the Sterling Farms complex on Newfield Avenue, Stamford, this is a unique experience for the community to participate in and enjoy the works of William Shakespeare. Productions are presented on Curtain Call's own version of the Globe Theatre Stage designed by associate artistic director, Barbieri. Curtain Call's annual outing is much akin to an old-fashioned repertory company: many actors return each year either on stage or off, to be a part of it. The entire cast (along with many past performers) were on hand to help build The Globe stage in early June.

While returning audiences will recognize many past performers, there are several cast members making their debut "on the lawn”, including Ursone, playing the role of Hero’s father, Leonato. This year's cast includes: D. Adam Boaz, Michael Bonarrigo, Brian Borowka, Monica Castillo, Jim Chiles, Abigail Darin, Tommy DeSalvo, Charlotte Roth, Robert Laughton, Jean Marie McCormick, Julia Maggiola, Daniel P. Mann, Christian Miller, Jason Nekritz, Malynda Nichols, Rob Nichols, Nick Priscott, Tyler Cameron Small, Kevin Thompson, Ursone and Nicole Whitney.

Performances of Much Ado About Nothing will be held July 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, and 21, evenings at 7:30 p.m. The park opens for seating at 6 p.m. each evening with parking across the street at Davenport Ridge School. A limited amount of reserved seating is available. "An average night's attendance for us is about 300," said Ursone, "however, when we have a Saturday night with perfect weather, we've had nearly twice that many - comfortably - on the lawn."

'We are thrilled to offer this free event each year to the community," Ursone said. "Of course, we appreciate contributions from our guests, but all are welcome...whether they can contribute or not. We especially want families to come and enjoy this production," Ursone concluded. Curtain Call suggests contributions of $20 per person for adults; $10 for senior citizens and children.

Shakespeare on the Green is produced by Curtain Call, Inc., in conjunction with the Stamford Golf Authority, Zody's at Sterling and The City of Stamford. This year's production is sponsored by Garden Homes Foundation with additional support from The Connecticut Office of the Arts, RBC, and Simply Signs.

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 2005 through 2014 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 2015. 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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