Funeral parlor comedy opens Halloween weekend in Stamford

Jim Chiles (Curtain Call/contributed photo)

Jonathan Frid. Bela Lugosi. Jim Chiles. Name three actors who have experienced lying quiet in a closed coffin…before they were dead! While Frid and Lugosi have long been dead, Chiles is new to the experience that many actors would flinch at, as he prepares for a new black comedy, The Viewing Room, which has its CT premiere at Curtain Call in Stamford.

“When putting together a season of 10 to 12 full-scale productions, I’m always looking for new material,” said Curtain Call’s executive director, Lou Ursone. “I love presenting classic plays and musicals as well as newer Broadway or Off-Broadway hits, but when authors reach out and send unpublished material, it’s really exciting,” he added. The Viewing Room is one such new show and it begins a three-week run in Curtain Call’s Dressing Room Theatre, October 28.

In The Viewing Room, written by Mark Smith, stern patriarch Chester Dumbrosky has decided to make amends. Unfortunately, he waited for the day of his wake’ to do so. As you might expect, some angst and laughter – and yes, some tears, are part of the process as the dysfunctional family tries to heal old wounds.

Going into Halloween weekend, a comedy about a dead guy sitting up in his coffin and having a conversation with family members, is the perfect time for this off-beat new show. As a follow-up to the two well-known productions that opened the theatre’s 31st season, (1776 and Crossing Delancey), The Viewing Room brings balance to the collection that is followed by Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Kinky Boots and many more.

Working with his cast of eight since late summer, veteran director, Rob Nichols, enjoyed the opportunity to work on this new script by Smith. With set and lighting design by Jamie LaJoie, costumes by Helen Adams and stage management by Stacey Lupo and Brent McKinley, the cast is in great hands. The cast includes: George Brazier, Jim Chiles, Bob Filipowich, Leigh Katz, Katie Imholt, Angie Joachim, Daniel P. Mann and Jim Muthersbaugh.

Performances will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00PM and Sunday afternoons at 2:00PM, beginning October 28. The Dressing Room 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 $20 for children under 21. (Discounted Flex Pass subscriptions offer savings of 25% and more.) Box Office: 203-461-6358 x 13 or on the web at

The Viewing Room is produced in cooperation with The City of Stamford with support from the CT Office of the Arts and funding from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.

Curtain Call follows the City of Stamford indoor mask mandate but also requires proof of vaccination from all patrons as is the current Broadway standard. (Curtain Call staff, performers and crew are all fully vaccinated.) Hand sanitizer is available in the lobby. Additionally, because eating and drinking require masks to be down, until further notice, no food or drink will be allowed in The Dressing Room Theatre.

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