Greenwich resident appears in ‘Calendar Girls’ fund-raiser

More than hearts are bared in Curtain Call January production

Fear of public speaking may be society’s number one phobia, so just think about doing it naked! And that’s just what a group of women aged 40-something and up will be doing when Curtain Call’s first show of 2016 opens in The Dressing Room Theatre, Stamford, on Jan. 8.

But before you have visions of a Playboy centerfold convention, the nudity is tastefully, somewhat comically handled, and is indeed, brief. Adapted by Tim Firth from his smash hit Miramax film of the same name, The Dressing Room Theatre, Stamford is based on an inspiring true story that is both poignant and hilarious. A group of extraordinary women, members of a very ordinary Yorkshire Women’s Institute, spark a global phenomenon by persuading one another to pose au natural for a charity calendar with a difference! As interest snowballs, the CALENDAR GIRLS find themselves revealing more than they’d ever planned…

Calendar Girls was inspired by the death of Angela Baker’s husband John Richard Baker, an Assistant National Park Officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, who died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 54 in 1998. During his illness Angela’s friends began to raise money, initially with the aim of purchasing a sofa for the visitors’ lounge in the hospital where John was treated. Nothing could have prepared them for the way their original calendar took off (selling 202,000 copies in its first year). To date they have raised over $4.5 million for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, the UK’s leading blood cancer charity.

One of the best-selling plays in British theatre history, this dazzlingly funny and shamelessly sentimental story is guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and walk out singing! CALENDAR GIRLS is about women’s friendships along with the power of imagination, risk-taking and resourcefulness under trying conditions. It clearly shows how one person can and does make a difference in the lives of others.

“Many friends have joked with me that doing the show in the cold month of January and just after the holiday feeding frenzy may not have been too kind to the women of the play, but this group of ladies is amazing,” said Lou Ursone, Curtain Call’s Executive Director and producer for Calendar Girls. “Right from the get go, they all knew what was required for the show and those required to be nude were completely committed to the project,” Ursone added. NOTE: since the play does include brief nudity, viewer discretion is advised…it may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

In the spirit of the story, the female cast members have posed for and actually created a 2016 calendar which is for sale through Curtain Call. Ten percent of the proceeds will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society which is featured in the play. “As a nonprofit organization ourselves, we thought this was a small way that we could help ourselves and others at the same time,” Ursone noted. Even director, Gail Yudain, took it off in solidarity with her cast members and is featured in the cover photo for the calendar.

The cast includes, from Stamford: Deborah Burke, Jean Carucci, Tom Costaggini, Brent McKinley; Norwalk: Ann Alford, Carin Freidag; Trumbull: Cathy Cordaro; Anthony Gray, Jordon Michael Hensley: Greenwich: Kate Telfer; Wilton: Christina Richardson; Westport: Seth Barkan; New Canaan: Dana Posner; White Plains, N.Y.: Stephanie Schwartz. The production team includes, in addition to Yudain, Peter Barbieri, Jr. (Fairfield) – production design and Christine Mallardi (Norwalk) – costume design;

Calendar Girls will play Jan. 8 through 24, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m., also on Thursdays, Jan. 14 and 21, at 8 p.m., at The Dressing Room Theatre, Stamford. Regular prices are $32 for adults, $24 for senior citizens and $16 for students and children. Thrifty Thursday pricing — all seats $22. Box Office: 203-461-6358 or online at curtaincallinc.com. Discounted FLEX PASS SUBSCRIPTIONS are on sale now and offer savings of more than 25% off regular adult prices. (As of Dec. 15, the production is more than 75% sold out.) The 2016 CALENDAR GIRLS calendar is on sale for $15.

Curtain Call is the award-winning, nonprofit community-based theatre company in residence at The Sterling Farms Theatre Complex, 1349 Newfield Avenue in Stamford. Year-round productions are presented by and for area residents in The Kweskin Theatre and The Dressing Room Theatre. After-school, evening and weekend educational workshops in the performing arts are also offered year-round for ages five through adult. A full listing of what’s offered and the teaching artists on staff are available at www.curtaincallinc.com. Curtain Call’s 25th anniversary season will also include BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, COMPANY, THE HOSTAGE, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, THE SISTERS ROSENSWEIG, CITY OF ANGELS and many other special events.

The cover photo for Curtain Call’s Calendar Girls 2016 calendar which is being sold as a joint fundraiser for Curtain Call and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Facing the camera is Stamford resident and director for  Calendar Girls, Gail Yudain.

The cover photo for Curtain Call’s Calendar Girls 2016 calendar which is being sold as a joint fundraiser for Curtain Call and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Facing the camera is Stamford resident and director for Calendar Girls, Gail Yudain.

Seen here on the set of Curtain Call’s next production, Calendar Girls, are most of the female cast members taking a break on the night of their first “disrobing.”

Seen here on the set of Curtain Call’s next production, Calendar Girls, are most of the female cast members taking a break on the night of their first “disrobing.”

Jean Carucci as Marie and Cathy Cordaro as Ruth

Jean Carucci as Marie and Cathy Cordaro as Ruth

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