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With Daughter In Tow, 'The Beast' Feels At Home On Stamford Stage

Kevin Thompson and Liz Harrington seen here in rehearsal for Beauty and the Beast at Curtain Call's Kweskin Theatre Photo Credit: Contributed
Kevin Thompson, with his wife, Julia, and daughter, Mia. Kevin and Mia will perform in Beauty and The Beast at Curtain Call. He proposed to Julia during a Curtain Call production in 2013. Photo Credit: Contributed by Kevin Thompson

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Perhaps more than any other actor, Norwalk’s Kevin Thompson feels at home on the Kweskin Theatre stage in Stamford. It is his second home, and beginning Friday, he’ll even be joined by his young daughter in Curtain Call’s production of Beauty and The Beast.

Thompson, a Stamford native, will play the male leading role for the production, which runs through April 29. He started performing with Curtain Call 10 years ago in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has performed in a number of shows since, but perhaps none more memorable than when he proposed to Julia Maggiola in 2013 during an outdoor summer production of Othello. Thompson portrayed Cassio in that play, while Maggiola was Desdemona.

  • Who: Kevin Thompson, Norwalk
  • What: Will play "The Beast" in "Beauty and The Beast" at Curtain Call in Stamford
  • Did you know? Kevin Thompson won the Class LL state diving championship in 2003 for Westhill High School
  • More info: The show begins Friday, March 31. Visit the Curtain Call website for information (click here)
“The proposal was a spur of the moment thing,’’ Thompson said. “I had the ring in my possession for a while. Othello was the first Shakespeare production that I had done back in high school. I made the decision to propose on closing night."

Rain threatened the closing night production. He conferred with Executive Director, Lou Ursone and Associate Artistic Director, Peter Barbieri to move the proposal up a by a couple of days.

“I had talked to her parents and her friends to be in the audience,’’ Thompson said. “I remember at intermission I was typing up what I was going to say. Julia kept looking at me, wondering what I was up to. The only ones who knew about it were Lou and Peter.”

Thompson proposed at the end of the production, stunning castmates, his fiance and the crowd. “I got down on one knee and I could see my castmates in complete shock,’’ Thompson said. “It was an amazing experience, the happiest moment of my life.”

Another memorable on-stage moment seems inevitable in Beauty and The Beast, where Thompson will share the stage with his 9-year-old daughter, Mia Secko, who is a member of the youth ensemble.

“There’s nothing like being able to spend time with your daughter,’’ said Thompson, who also performed with Mia in a production of The Wizard of Oz. “I want to make sure I can give Mia all these different experiences. She’s making so many good friends. I love watching her backstage and enjoying the experience. I’ve been so impressed with her.”

Thompson’s role as The Beast, opposite female lead, Liz Harrington as Belle, is a good fit for his physicality, perhaps his acting strongpoint.

“I love portraying characters,’’ Thompson said. “This is an opportunity to show my versatility. The physicality I can bring to this role is pretty cool. And the Beast is a lot different person from who I am. He’s an angry person with a mean, monstrous side, but also has a nice, soft side. I’m fun-loving, easy-going guy, so it’s really different from who I am. It’s pretty challenging.”

It’s additionally challenging for Thompson because of the heavy costume he’ll be wearing and the Beast’s movements. “Sometimes it’s tough to get up in the morning after all the crawling, bending and stepping,’’ he said. “I have to make sure I get a visit with my chiropractor.”

Thompson is well-suited to the physical demands of acting from his high school days at Westhill. He won the Class LL state diving championship as a senior in 2003 and set the school record at the University of Connecticut. He also coached divers for several teams in the area and learned gymnastics as a child at Arena Gymnastics in Stamford. “There was a time,’’ he said, “where I would do a backflip in every Curtain Call production.”

Thompson is the High School Program Director for Horizons at New Canaan Country School. His home, however, is on the Stamford stage. Born and bred in Stamford, it’s a place that will forever hold a place in his heart.

“It means everything to me,’’ Thompson said. “I love the city. It’s where I was born and raised, it’s where I spent the majority of my life. It’s amazing how many people recognize me from a production. Curtain Call is a wonderful organization that gives back to the community in so many ways. It’s great to be in their productions.”

There will be 20 performances of the show. For a complete list of dates, times and ticket information, click here.

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