Who was your favorite teacher? Or at least, which one made the greatest impact on your life? Most of us can immediately recall the one, or maybe two educators who have greatly influenced our lives. In The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie playing in Curtain Call's Dressing Room Theatre, Stamford, March 8 through 24, the title character is surely a teacher to be remembered! And three amazingly talented Westport teens will be along for the ride.
The title character is known by her star pupils - her personal pets, "the Brodie Girls." Among the young actors playing students at the Marcia Blaine School are Westport residents Samantha Chachra, Deanna Hartog and Juliet Kimble.
Adapted by playwright Jay Presson Allen from Muriel Spark's 1961 novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie has been a Broadway and silver screen favorite of many since its debut 47 years ago. "Jean Brodie is a play about one particular teacher who looms large in the life, imagination and memory of her special students," said Carin Zakes, (PORT CHESTER, NY) director for this Curtain Call production. "The character of Jean Brodie is compelling in its dramatic self-delusion. She is charismatic, eccentric, passionate and narcissistic," Zakes added.
"The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is one of those stories that has stayed with me from my first viewing," said Lou Ursone, Curtain Call's Executive Director and producer for this show. "I've seen the film several times but have never had the chance to see a stage production so I am thrilled to be working on The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie this season," Ursone added. He added that the well-drawn characters, especially the roles for women, were what drew him to present the piece.
The play is set in Scotland in the 1930s, an era of rising fascism in Germany, Spain and Italy. "Jean knows nothing of politics, but is easily swept up in the romance of a cause. Her progressive attitudes and teaching methods are at odds with the conservative nature of the private girls school. While in her “prime”, Jean Brodie works to instill a love for art, truth and beauty in her students. Her mission may have been to transform her inner circle in to the “crème de la crème”, but tragedy results when her students attempt to follow in her larger than life-size footsteps," Zakes said.
Critic have said: "Fascinating in its insights into a marvelously portrayed eccentric human being. " - The New York Times; "Endearing, hilarious, lovely, perceptive, and splendid" - The New York Daily News; "A dramatic intelligent and merciless study of character." - The New York Post
Joining Zakes and Ursone on the creative team are Peter Barbieri, Jr. (NORWALK) who is in charge of production design and Helen Adams (STRATFORD) as costume designer. Stage managers for this production are Elizabeth Meny (FAIRFIELD) and Molly Forrest (WILTON). Playing the title role is long-time Curtain Call favorite and STAMFORD resident, Kimberley Lowden. Also from STAMFORD: Maggie Carucci. The rest of the cast includes, from NORWALK: Ann Alford, from NEWTOWN: Maggi Heilweil; from NEW HAVEN: Emily Hughes; from WILTON: Julia Foodman; from OLD GREENWICH: Avrey Carifa; from CLINTON: Sasha Blue Krivosky; from NEW YORK: Scott Faubel (WHITE PLAINS); Mario Fuentes (PORT CHESTER), Kevin Rishel (YONKERS) and Laura High (NYC).
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie will play in The Dressing Room Theatre Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00pm and Sunday afternoons at 2:00pm beginning March 8. Seating in The Dressing Room Theatre is cabaret-style and features a Bring Your Own Everything format. Doors open one hour before show time. Tickets are $29 for adults, $22 for senior citizens and $14.50 for students and children. Thrifty Thursday pricing: All seats $20. Five, seven and ten-ticket FLEX PASSES are also available which offer up to 25% off the aforementioned prices. Tickets are available online at www.curtaincallinc.com or by calling 203-461-6358.
Following The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, the 2012-13 season continues with two more interactive murder mystery nights, a Monday Night Musical concert reading, cabaret performances by Frank Mastrone and Michael Jovovich, plus the following full-scale productions: Oklahoma, The Dixie Swim Club and Legally Blonde. Curtain Call is the nonprofit, professionally-run, community-based theatre company in residence at The Sterling Farms Theatre Complex, 1349 Newfield Avenue in Stamford. Year-round productions and educational workshops 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 2005 through 2012 in the Annual Readers’ Poll of The Fairfield County Weekly as well as BEST LOCAL THEATRE by StamfordPlus magazine for the past five years and as BEST VENUE by Stamford Magazine readers.. Curtain Call also received The Governor’s Award for Excellence in Culture and Tourism for 2011 and in a recent Facebook poll, was noted as the most popular theatre in Connecticut and second most favorite attraction in the state.