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You Can Laugh the Night Away at First Night

It's the most fun people will have in 15 minutes at First Night : That's how director Donna Wyant described "Aprés Opera," a 15-minute play that will be performed during the First Night Westport/Weston New Year's Eve celebration.

"Audiences should come because it [the play] doesn't disappoint," said Wyant, a 15-year TV and theater director. "The show is pure entertainment: It's very funny, and it appeals to audience members from 6 to 80."

The one-act play, written by Michael Bigelow Dixon and Valerie Smith, takes place in an opera-themed Italian restaurant and is based on the tragic opera "Pagliacci." It was first produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

Featuring a cast of four, the story brings together two former lovers, Karen and Peter, Karen's narcoleptic fiancé Duncan who nods off without warning, and a misguided but cynical waitress dressed in a clown outfit. And when you mix all four characters together, you get an outrageously flawed dinner that will keep you laughing.

"Laughter, after all, is the greatest medicine," Wyant said. "I wanted to kick of the New Year on a light note, which is why I wanted to bring the community this lighthearted and delightful little gem."

"Aprés Opera" stars Gary Betsworth as Peter, Rochelle Woodson as Karen, Bobby Pavia as Duncan and Marta Coppola as Lauren, the waitress.

Presented by the Westport Community Theater, you can catch the show in the lower level of the Westport Town Hall auditorium from 6 to 6:15 p.m., 7:30 to 7:45 p.m. and 9 to 9:15 p.m.

As part of the First Night festivities, all you need to get in is a $15 First Night button to attend. Visit the First Night website for more information on admission.

What are you most looking forward to at First Night Westport/Weston? Leave a comment below.

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