STAMFORD, Conn. -- Amid noise-makers, placards and banners akin to an old-fashioned political convention, a crowd of nearly 700 jumped to its feet in appreciation of 11 community leaders stepping out of their comfort zones at Curtain Call’s Dancing With The Stars on Saturday, May 17, at The Palace Theatre in Stamford.
Stamford’s Lisa Maronian, owner of Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes, and her professional dance partner, Ivan Angelkovski (from Dance With Me Stamford), received Judges’ Choice Award, female division, at the seventh annual fundraiser for Curtain Call.
Stamford’s Dominick Bria of Salesforce.com and his professional dance partner, Kelly Butler from Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich, received the Judges’ Choice Award in the male division. Bria also won the People's Choice Award in recognition of his outstanding fundraising efforts.
JoAnn Latorraca, co-owner of The Water’s Edge at Giovanni's Restaurant, received the Friendraiser Award for getting the most individuals to participate in this annual gathering. Latorraca was partnered with Lou Lopez of Latin Moves Dance Studio. Lopez has donated his services for every dancing stars event that Curtain Call has hosted.
"Each year I am totally overwhelmed by the community’s support for this event," said Lou Ursone, Curtain Call's executive director. "With so many arts organizations locally and nationally struggling financially, we know how very fortunate we are to keep our lights burning. The economy is still very challenging for nonprofit organizations, so it takes special events like this to help keep us in the black.”
For this year's event, in addition to Bria, Latorraca and Maronian, eight other local celebrities/civic leaders volunteered to spend several months in preparation for the event. They were partnered with dance professionals from throughout the area.
This year's lineup of dancers included: Jeff Brandi (Stamford) senior merchandising manager, Carollee LLC, and professional dance partner Virginia Coker of Dance With Me, Stamford; Tammy Felenstein of Stamford, director of sales, Halstead Properties, with professional dance partner Thomas Varian of Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; Frank Lucherini of Stamford, owner of Dairy Queen, with professional dance partner Lauren Nicole Sherwood of Diva Star Productions; Ron Rosenfeld of Ridgefield and owner, New Balance, New Canaan, with professional dance partner Karen Casagrande of Hotshoes; Stamford's Jim Sabia, a retired Stamford Public Schools teacher, with professional dance partner, Meredith Landphair of Dance With Me, Stamford: Westport's Nicole Straight, marketing manager, Marcia Selden Catering, with professional dance partner Ted Thomas of New England Academy of Dance; Kaitlyn Tarpey of Stamford, Miss Connecticut 2013, and professional dance partner Moises Guerrero of Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; and Brooke Troisi (Bloomfield, N.J.) line producer, "Maury Show" and "Trisha Show," NBC Universal's Stamford Media Center, and professional dance partner Ronny Dutra of Dance With Me, Stamford.
Co-chairs of the event were Robin Selden and Jami Sherwood, both of Stamford. Judges for the event were Juanita James, Jimmy Locust and Maureen Pavia, each of whom participated at prior Dancing With The Stars events.
Now wrapping up its 23rd season, Curtain Call is the nonprofit community-based theater company in residence at the Sterling Farms complex, 1349 Newfield Ave., Stamford. 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.
For more information on upcoming shows, workshops and daytime summer youth programs, call 329-8207, ext. 11, or go online to www.curtaincallinc.com.