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ELF, The Musical coming to Stamford for the first time

By Curtain Call

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Taking a break from rehearsal for Curtain Call's production of ELF, playing in the Kweskin Theatre, Stamford. November 16 through December 15, are, L-R, Joe Colavito, Bruce Crilly, Nicole Monahan (contributed photo)
Stage plays have dealt with adoption in many ways over the years. From the gut-wrenching moments of Miss Saigon to the warm-hearted scenes in Annie, audiences have enjoyed many stories with adoption as a major plot point. Now, a new stage adaptation of popular film brings holiday cheer amidst the tale of one man seeking his birth father: Elf The Musical.

Elf, the Musical will be making its area premiere playing in The Kweskin Theatre, Stamford, from November 16 through December 15. Based on the cherished 2003 New Line Cinema hit, Elf features songs by Tony Award nominees, Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (Disney's Aladdin on Broadway, The Wedding Singer), with a book by Tony Award winners, Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone).

“I was thrilled and honored when the licensing company offered us a chance to produce Elf before any other theatre in the area,” said Curtain Call executive director and producer for the show. “It is such a great, feel-good musical with an amazingly catchy score, plus, it has the story so many of us love from the hit movie,” Ursone added.

In Elf, Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity.

Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn't even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. As Buddy encounters skeptics and scrooges, he realizes that his greater purpose is to bring back the holiday spirit! It will take every elfish trick he knows, maybe a miracle, and a lot of holiday cheer for his plan to work.

Directing this production is Curtain Call veteran, Lauren Nicole Sherwood, who said, "Elf is one of the most cleverly adapted musicals from screen to stage - they took all the best parts of the movie and gave it a big, classic Broadway makeover. It is filled will showstopping numbers and silly elf antics, but underneath it all it has a giant heart!"

Sherwood is joined by her husband, Matt Blank as choreographer and Zach Kampler as music director. Costume design is by Christine Mallardi with set design by Peter Barbieri, Jr., and lighting design by Peter Petrino. “I’ve known Lauren for more than 20 years, and can’t think of a better person to helm this wonderful family musical,” Ursone said. " I always love returning to Curtain Call, in any capacity. It is the theatre that I grew up in and it's the reason I went into theatre as a career," said Sherwood.

The cast of 38 includes: Seth Barkan, Laura Blackwell, Monica Castillo, Jenna Colavito, Joe Colavito, Bruce Crilly, Sabatino Cruz, Abigail Hubbard Darin, Belle DeFala, Nicole R. DeSalvo, Andy Dooley, Jennifer Faccenda, Nicholas Ferreira, Eli Foodman, Madeline Galgano, Robert Geils, Griffin Handley, Willow Handley, Kevin R Kiley, Christina Kampler, Michael Kraus, Jacob Litt, Kaitlynd Lofaro, Nikki Monahan, Leah Murray, Sean Pultz, Brooke Rennie, Dany Rousseau, Femi Shabs, Sydney Sibilia, Chloe Simner, Olivia Simner, Amelia Stone, Jessie Tarzia, Dan Travers, Meredith Walker and Katelyn Wilson. Ursone and Sherwood both sing high praise of this cast and are looking forward to having audiences see their work. "We really got lucky in auditions to be surrounded by so many extremely talented performers. Every member of this cast is being challenged to go even bigger and it is making them even better! I couldn't have asked for a better group," said Sherwood.

Performances will be held Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30PM and Sunday afternoons at 2:00PM, beginning November 16 and continuing through December 15. There will also be Saturday matinees at 2:00PM on December 1, 8 and 15, plus Thursday nights, December 6 and 13 at 7:30PM. Kweskin 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 $17.5 for children. Thrifty Thursday tickets are $27.50. Box Office: 203-461-6358 x 36 or on the web at www.curtaincallinc.com.

Curtain Call's 28th season also includes A Merry Mulberry Street Musical, Shakespeare in Love, Big River, A Gentleman’s guide to Love and Murder and many more full-scale productions, as well as concerts, comedy nights, and interactive murder mysteries. Additional information is available at www.curtaincallinc.com or by calling 203-329-8207.

Curtain Call is the non-profit community-based theatre company in residence at The Sterling Farms Theatre Complex, 1349 Newfield Avenue in Stamford. Year-round productions and educational workshops for all ages are presented by and for area residents in The Kweskin Theatre and The Dressing Room Theatre.

Curtain Call was voted Fairfield County's BEST LOCAL THEATRE GROUP ten years running in the Annual Readers' Poll of the Fairfield County Weekly and has received similar BEST OF awards from Stamford Magazine and StamfordPlus magazine for 2008 through 2018. Curtain Call received The Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2011 and the ACE Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture from the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County.

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