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‘Shakespeare in Love’: Stamford’s Curtain Call premieres show in Connecticut

January 29, 2019 GMT

“Shakespeare in Love,” a fictitious account of the romantic life of The Bard as he sets out to write “Romeo and Juliet,” earned several Oscars — including Best Film and Best Original Screenplay — when it hit theaters in 1998.

The film, which was later adapted for the stage, gets its Connecticut premiere in February, courtesy of Stamford’s Curtain Call, Inc.

“The story is, at heart, a romantic comedy in which the young Shakespeare finds himself falling for the courtly Viola de Lesseps, who has disguised herself as a boy in order to perform on stage,” says Curtain Call, in a news release.

“Shakespeare in Love” will be presented at Curtain Call’s Kweskin Theatre Friday, Feb. 1, through Saturday, Feb. 23. (Perfect timing if you’re making plans for Valentine’s Day.)

The play celebrates the way magic and mystery are sometimes born of chaos and confusion — a similar scenario to what occurs when a theatrical production is brought to life, says Lou Ursone, Curtain Call’s executive director and the show’s producer.

“One of my favorite running bits through the show is the common response to questions of how things will work out: ‘It’s a mystery’ is the standard reply. Sometimes we feel that way too, as we’re in the thick of things,” Ursone says.

Gordon Casagrande, who is directing this show, says the film has long been among his favorites. “When I heard about the London stage adaptation in 2014 and read the great reviews it got, it went right to the top of the list of shows I wanted to direct.”

While not a musical, “Shakespeare in Love” has lots of music, including madrigal singers and a number of dances. “It has all the characters from the movie, has many of the exact same lines, and is filled with the same outrageous and raucous comedy, wild brawls and sword fights, and passionate romance. Something for everyone,” Casagrande says.

Curtain Call’s 28th season also includes “Big River,” “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” “Boeing Boeing,” and “I Hate Hamlet,” as well as concerts, comedy nights, and interactive murder mysteries. See the website for full details.

The Kweskin Theatre, 1349 Newfield Ave., Stamford. Friday, Feb. 1 - Saturday, Feb. 23. Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m. $35 adults, $25 senior citizens, $17.50 children. Thursdays Feb. 14 and 21, all seats $27.50. 203-461-6358