Planning a theatrical season can be similar to a bride planning her wedding day by following the old adage “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” At least that’s how Curtain Call’s executive director, Lou Ursone, explains it as the busy theatre company launches its new season.
“With 12 full-scale, diverse productions spanning 40 weekends of the year, I hope we have at least one show for every theatre-going taste,” Ursone said. “But hopefully, people will come for more than just one,” he added. Musicals, comedies and dramas, mixed in with special event comedy nights and concerts make up the programming at Curtain Call’s Sterling Farms Theatre Complex home in Stamford.
The nonprofit theatre company’s season kicks off with “something new” – Terrence McNally’s 2013 Off Broadway hit, AND AWAY WE GO, playing in The Dressing Room Theatre. September 8 through 24. The New York Times wrote, “Terrence McNally plants a big kiss on his lifelong love — the theater — in his latest play, AND AWAY WE GO, a time-traveling romp set backstage during epochal moments in the history of drama over a couple of millennium.”
Following and overlapping with AND AWAY WE GO, will be BEAUTIFUL, THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL – the first mainstage musical of the season – making its Fairfield County debut on the Kweskin Theatre stage September 22. Featuring dozens of hit songs of the 1960s and 1970s, this is the story of the early life and career of Carole King, using songs that she wrote, often together with Gerry Goffin, and other contemporary songs by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Phil Spector and others.
The remainder of the season includes several works oft-requested by patrons including THE SOUND OF MUSIC, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, AGATHA CHRISTIE’S THE MOUSETRAP and THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK. (Area mystery fans can see THE MOUSETRAP at Curtain Call before it makes its Broadway debut in 2024 – at a fraction of the cost.)
Two other shows playing at Curtain Call for the first time are IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE; A LIVE RADIO PLAY and THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE. “Following the success of our October 2020 outdoor radio play version of DRACULA, we found this terrific adaptation of the classic holiday story, It’s a Wonderful Life, presented as a live radio play,” Ursone said, noting that the author/ adapter is Fairfield resident Joe Landry. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE; A LIVE RADIO PLAY will appear in The Kweskin Theatre November 17 through December 9 and THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE will play in The Dressing Room Theatre, January 12 through 29. (Spelling Bee fulfills the “blue” quotient with some risqué lyrics.)
As for a borrowed item, Ursone’s A MERRY MULBERRY STREET MUSICAL is based on characters he borrowed from Stamford’s most produced romantic comedy, MULBERRY STREET. Since its premiere in 2009, the musical romantic comedy about Italian families in 1940s NYC has become a biennial favorite, regularly playing to sold out crowds in The Dressing Room Theatre.
Curtain Call is the non-profit community-based theatre company that has been in residence at The Sterling Farms Theatre Complex, 1349 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, for 32 years. 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. Tickets for all performances are on sale now as are discounted Flex Passes which offer discounts of 25% or more off regular adult prices. The Box Office may be reached at 203-461-6358 or online at www.curtaincallinc.com.
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 Stamford Plus magazine for 2008 through 2023. 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 in 2016. All shows are produced in cooperation with The City of Stamford with support from the CT Office of the Arts.