What do a former state senator, a caterer and a funeral director all have in common? They’ll be joining eight other local personalities to strut their stuff for the fourth annual Curtain Call’s Dancing With the Star, Stamford, on May 14 at the Palace Theatre.
“It’s a big commitment. They’re happy to give their time and get their friends to come and support them. It’s changed everything for us here at Curtain Call. It’s given us an opportunity to offer something different,” said Jamie Sherwood, the fundraiser’s co-chair. She danced “The Hustle” in the first Curtain Call’s event in 2008.
The primary fundraising comes from people who purchase “votes” for their favorite dancing duo. Each vote is $10 and functions more like a walk-a-thon sponsorship than an actual ballot. Voting is available now on the website. Dancers are encouraged to promote voting in any way they can. Last year, the dancers raised $40,000 in votes alone.
“Last year’s group was unusually imaginative. We had everything from restaurant slips — two of our restaurateurs had little voting information slips going out with all their guest checks. We had some friendly competition with local businesses and their signs,” said Curtain Call Executive Director Lou Ursone.
Dancers were selected from Stamford and neighboring communities and given a professional dance partner. The official lineup and pairings were announced during a news conference Thursday at the Kweskin Theater.
Most of the dancers hail from Stamford, with seven locals ready to strap on their dancing shoes. Stamford's David Cingari, Nicholas Cognetta Jr., Mary Anne Melillo DeFelice, Lushe Gjuraj, Sue Gulliver, Michael “Red” O’Leary and Mary Schaffer will join professional dancers to entertain the audience.
The remaining five dancers come from around Fairfield County to support the theater. Former state Sen. John Atkin and Main Street Connect's Gloria Tenofsky both call Norwalk home. Jonathan Moffly comes from Westport. Claudette Rothman will represent Greenwich. And Tracie Wilson of Darien was the last dancer announced at the conference.
Show-only tickets for the rear balcony are $50 for adults, $25 for students. There are packages available from $125 to $5,000 for one to multiple tickets of staggering tiers that include hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.
Who will you vote for in Curtain Call's Dancing With the Star, Stamford event?