“Put on a Happy Face” and plan on catching Curtain Call’s 28th annual Summer Youth Theatre production of "Bye, Bye, Birdie" playing next month in Stamford.
One of the most-produced high school musicals of all time "Bye, Bye, Birdie" played previously at Curtain Call in 1993 and 2005. Upcoming performances at The Kweskin Theatre run from Aug. 2 through Aug. 11.
"Bye, Bye, Birdie" was America’s first rock and roll musical and received the 1961 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Direction and Best Choreography of a Musical.
“This is the second time that I’m working on Birdie, and I’m having a blast,” said Lou Ursone, Curtain Call's executive director.
Seeing the energy and enthusiasm of the young cast members harkens back to Ursone’s own beginnings in youth theatre in Stamford.
“Friends I made from summer theatre 40 years ago and more, are still in my life. . . . Theatre friends are the best,” Ursone said. "I am also thrilled to once again have the support of GenRe as the sponsor of this production."
Directing this summer’s production is Norwalk resident, Larry Gabbard. While this is his first time directing for Curtain Call, he is no stranger to area audiences, having charmed his way into their hearts as Burt in "Mary Poppins," as well as in several other shows at the Stamford theatre.
“Larry is a high school principal who loves working with kids and really knows how to encourage and nurture them to do great work,” Ursone said.
Other members of the creative team, also from Norwalk, are Tony Bellomy as music director and Kristin Ruggieri as choreographer. Set design is by Curtain Call’s resident designer and associate artistic director, Peter Barbieri, Jr. of Fairfield and costume design is by Megan Latte Ormond of Greenwich. Curtain Call education director, Brian Bianco, serves as producer.
The cast and crew for this production is comprised of 75 students ages 10 through 21 from all around lower Fairfield County.
Starring as the Birdie in the title, is Stamford resident Jayce Schwartz.
He is joined by: Daisy Beach, Lucy Beach, Brooke Boccuzzi, Austin Cappetta, Grace Cashman, Libby Christinat, Sabatino Cruz, Donny DeFala, Caroline Eagleton, Grace Eagleton, Robert Failla, Zachary Foust-Clark, Elsa Franks, Mathew L. Freitas, Liam Gelling, Skye Gillespie, Julianna Goldfluss, Brady Hayes, Patrick Hayes, Nicole Henkel, Arianna Hernandez, Katie Hoffmeister, Grace Huber, Frankie Isola, Theodore King, Courtney Kollar, Aki Lasher, Miya Lasher, Anthony Laszlo, Rachel Lese, Daniel McArthur, Justin McArthur, Michael McArthur, Colleen McCurley, Matthew O’Callaghan, Simon Pepa, Owen Priscott, Sabrina Rollings, Daniella Sallese, Emma Sawch, Lauryn Schiller, Sabrina Sgandurra, Emma Sharma, Sydney Sibilia, Chloe Simner, Kate Sloan, Ava Spinelli Mastrone, Franki Spinelli Mastrone, Tiara Starks, Austin Tovar, Joseph Turner, Zoe Usowksi, Zach Vlcek, Alexandra Watkinson, Zara Williamson.
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings beginning on Aug 2. There also will be one Sunday 2 p.m. show on Aug. 5 and a Saturday 2 p.m. show on Aug. 11.
The Kweskin Theatre is located at The Sterling Farms Theatre Complex, 1349 Newfield Ave. in Stamford.
Tickets are $35 for adults, $25 for senior citizens and $17.50 for children. "Thrifty Thursday" tickets are $27.50. Call the box office at 203-461-6358, ext. 36 or purchase tickets online by clicking here: www.curtaincallinc.com .
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