Darien resident Tracie Wilson, senior vice president of programming and development at NBC Universal, will be one of a dozen local business and civic leaders dancing in Curtain Call's Dancing with the Stars event May 14 at The Palace Theatre in Stamford. Her professional dance partner/teacher is Michael Powers of Arthur Murray Dance Studio in White Plains, N.Y.
This is Curtain Call's fourth event of this kind and is the organization's only major fundraising event each year.
"We're thrilled by the level of support and enthusiasm from the community that is generated by this event," Lou Ursone, Curtain Call's executive director, said. "We're Stamford's longest-running and only year-round non-profit producing theatre company and we wouldn't be here without the community's support." Curtain Call is in residence at The Sterling Farms complex in Stamford and is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary season.
The other 11 "star dancers" who have volunteered to prepare for 10 weeks leading up to this event are: John Atkin of Norwalk, former statesenator and Managing Partner at Silvermine International Books with dance partner Juliet Thibodeaux of Fred Astaire Dance Studio Norwalk; David S. Cingari of Stamford, president of David's Soundview Catering with dance partner Maria Fiora of Maria Fiora's Ballroom and Latin Dance Studio; Nicholas F. Cognetta, Jr. of Stamford, owner of Cognetta Funeral Home with dance partner Sarah Lee Michaels; Mary Anne Melillo DeFelice of Stamford, talk show host at WGCH with dance partner Mario Moreta of Arthur Murray of Greenwich; Gloria Tenofsky Falcone of Norwalk, community marketing director at Main Street Connect with professional dance partner Morten Schnedler of Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Norwalk; Lushe Gjuraj of Stamford, owner of Parkway Diner with dance partner Ted Thomas of New England Academy of Dance; Sue Gulliver of Stamford, office support at Family Centers Health Center at Dolan Middle School with dance partner Dmitry Nikolaev of Fred Astaire Dance Studio Norwalk; Michael "Red" O'Leary of Stamford, retired financial analyst at ICAP with dance partner Despina Kreatsoulas of Maria Fiora's Ballroom and Latin Dance Studio; Jonathan W. Moffly of Westport, president of Moffly Media with dance partner Maureen Pavia; Claudette Rothman of Greenwich, owner of Greenwich Diva Productions with dance partner Cameron Johnson of Maria Fiora's Ballroom and Latin Dance Studio and Mary Schaffer of Stamford, employee at napa & co. with dance partner Lou Lopez of Latin Moves Dance Studio.
"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 from our community to help keep our community theatre strong," Ursone said. 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.
Patterned after the hit television show, this is the third year the performace will take place at The Palace Theatre. 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. "Voting" is underway at $10 each and is a major component of the fundraising for this event.
Tickets and sponsorships for the event start at $125.
"The voting is a great way to get involved in the process," Ursone said. He said it's an important part of the fundraising. With the organization's oil, gas and electric bills reaching $75,000 this year, Curtain Call needs this event to help keep ticket prices down.
The cocktail hour at UConn Stamford, will feature a wide variety of top shelf food and drink provided by area vendors Marcia Selden Catering, Columbus Park Trattoria, napa & co., David's Soundview Catering, Spazzio, Capital Grille, Heineken, Crystal Rock LLC and Zyr Vodka.
For more information call 203-329-8207 or visit www.curtaincallinc.com.