Stamford, CT 06905
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Twenty-one years ago, a major Hollywood film burst on the scene, capturing the hearts of millions and garnering several Oscars, including Best Film and Best Original Screenplay. That movie, Shakespeare in Love, has been adapted for the stage and gets its Connecticut premiere at Stamford’s Curtain Call, beginning February 1.
Shakespeare in Love is a fictitious account of the romantic life of the Bard as he sets out to write Romeo and Juliet. The story is, at heart, a romantic comedy in which the young Shakespeare finds himself falling for the courtly Viola de Lesseps, who has disguised herself as a boy in order to perform on stage.The play celebrates the way magic and mystery are born out of the chaos and confusion that surround bringing theatrical productions to life…and Curtain Call certainly knows about creating magic amidst chaos.
“One of my favorite running bits through the show is the common response to questions of how things will work out: ‘It’s a mystery’ is the standard reply. Sometimes we feel that way too, as we’re in the thick of things,” said Lou Ursone, Curtain Call executive director and producer for Shakespeare in Love.
The Stamford-based theatre company is no stranger to the works of Shakespeare having produced an annual outdoor production since 2004. “I actually considered doing this play as part of our Shakespeare on the Green program,” Ursone said. He chose not to because of the cast size and additional costs associated with doing a new work. “When I saw the film 21 years ago, I was not producing yet, but felt that it would make a great stage play, so I was thrilled when the adaptation was made,” Ursone added.
Leading the team is Gordon Casagrande as director, with choreography and stage combat by his wife, Karen. Music direction is by Peter Randazzo, set design by Peter Barbieri, Jr. with costumes by Megan Latte Ormond and lighting design by Peter Petrino. Stage management incudes Jeff Bianco, Sara DeFelice, Dan Travers and Jan Ursone.
Casagrande said, “The movie Shakespeare in Love has always been one of my favorites. When I heard about the London stage adaptation in 2014 and read the great reviews it got, it went right to the top of the list of shows I wanted to direct.” Ursone had seen that London production and for several years, has been diligently working to obtain the rights to produce the show here.
This version, adapted for the stage by Lee Hall, adapted from the screenplay by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman, has a large cast, over 30. And while not a musical per se, it does have lots of music: musicians in costume, madrigal singers and a number of dances. Casagrande said, “It has all the characters from the movie, has many of the exact same lines, and is filled the same outrageous and raucous comedy, wild brawls and sword fights, and passionate romance. Something for everyone."
The cast includes Tim Brandt, Michael Bonarrigo, Catherine Cavender, Victoria Clougher, Cosmo, Tommy DeSalvo, Stephen DiRocco, Natasha Fenster, Scott Ferrara, Bob Filipowich, Eli Foodman, Robert Geils, Eric Hu, Tessa Kurtz, Joey Macari, Daniel Mann, Chris Miller, Celine Montaudy, Jim Muthersbaugh, Michael Okulski, Kyle Runestad, Gregorio Santa, Parke Stevenson, Alexandra Stewart, Wiiliam Squier, Marc Ursone, Amy Wade, Meredith Walker, Bill Warncke, Paul William, Jerusha Wright and Michael Wright.
Performances will be held Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00PM and Sunday afternoons at 2:00PM, beginning February 1 and continuing through February 23. The Kweskin Theatre is located at The Sterling Farms Theatre Complex, 1349 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT. Doors open one half hour before show time. Tickets are $35 for adults, $25 for senior citizens and $17.5 for children. Thrifty Thursday tickets are $27.50 for performances on February 14 and 21. Box Office: 203-461-6358 x 36 or on the web at www.curtaincallinc.com.
Curtain Call's 28th season also includes Big River, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Boeing Boeing, and I Hate Hamlet, as well as concerts, comedy nights, and interactive murder mysteries. Additional 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 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 StamfordPlus 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.
Friday, 22 February, 2019
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Cost:$35 Adults / $25 Seniors / $17.50 Children
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