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Westport Country Playhouse Stages 'The Cocktail Hour'

The Westport Country Playhouse will present a script-in-hand reading of A.R. Gurney’s “The Cocktail Hour” on Monday.
The Westport Country Playhouse will present a script-in-hand reading of A.R. Gurney’s “The Cocktail Hour” on Monday. Photo Credit: Walter Kurtz

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport Country Playhouse will present a script-in-hand playreading of A.R. Gurney’s “The Cocktail Hour” Monday at 7 p.m.

Anne Keefe, Westport Country Playhouse associate artist and curator of the playreading series, will direct.

“I was reminded of this lovely play by playhouse favorite A.R. Gurney during our gala honoring him in 2014, when we did a brief scene as part of the evening,” said Keefe. “The popularity of last season’s Gurney play, ‘Love and Money,’ called it to mind again. I think it will touch the audience in many of the usual Gurney ways, but also give them things to laugh about and relate to.”

A quasi-autobiographical story, “The Cocktail Hour” tells the story of John, a playwright, who returns to his family’s house, bringing with him a new play that he has written about them. His purpose is to obtain their permission to proceed with production, but his wealthy, very proper parents are cautious. Their confrontation takes place during the ritual of the cocktail hour, and as the martinis flow, so do the recriminations and revelations, both humorous and poignant.

Cast members include Jack Gilpin as Bradley, Claire Karpen as Nina, Ann McDonough as Ann and Jake Robards as John.

Gurney, a Connecticut resident, has had many of his plays produced by Westport Country Playhouse, including last year’s premiere of “Love and Money” and 2013’s “The Dining Room,” winner of several Connecticut Critics Circle Awards. Gurney has received several awards for the body of his work and is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Theatre Hall of Fame.

Keefe served as artistic director of Westport Country Playhouse with Joanne Woodward in 2008 and as associate artistic director from 2000-06. She co-directed with Woodward the Westport Country Playhouse production of “David Copperfield” and directed many script-in-hand playreadings.

Tickets are $20 each. For more information and to buy tickets, click here , call the box office at 203-227-4177 or toll-free at 888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse at 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport.

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