Westport Column

— What a great Westport Festival Day! We're truly fortunate to have all the volunteers, artists, craftspeople, and others who made it happen. And the Depot Theatre Apprentices were absolutely brilliant in As You Like It, directed by Scott Gibbs and Lindsay Pontius. Hannah Looby shone as Rosalind, Alex Steele virtually reinvented the role of Orlando, and Jonathan Magoon and Ethan Markwica struck deft comedic sparks as Touchstone the Clown and Jacques, the melancholy courtier turned clown wannabe. Around these prominent roles the whole company came together as a talented ensemble, with performances that were simply stellar. One of the best years ever. Thank you, everyone! Thank you also to the parents, and to Paul Rossi, who designed eye-catching T-shirts for the cast.

So we segue from busy Festival weekend to busy Essex County Fair Week. Fair highlights include my personal favorite, the pudding eating contest at the EMS hut (!) on Friday, Terry Lee Goffee, the "Ultimate Johnny Cash tribute" on Friday night, and of course the Demolition Derby on Saturday (go, Kalika Hopkins!) and the Tractor Pull on Sunday. For a full schedule, go to the helpful web site at www.essexcountyfair.org.

This weekend also has the Depot Theatre's Annual Gala Dinner and Auction, which takes place on Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Westport Country Club. In addition to bidding on exciting auction items and enjoying cocktails and a delicious dinner, patrons will mingle with the cast and crew of The Marvelous Wonderettes, who will also provide the evening's entertainment. The Marvelous Wonderettes, currently wowing audiences at the theatre, is this season's third production and runs till August 19. Other upcoming Depot offerings include Bingo for the Depot on Aug. 14 and Mississippi Voodoo (with the incomparable Beth Glover, star of numerous Depot productions) on Aug. 16. For information on the Gala and these other events, call the Depot box office at 962-4449.

Congratulations to Doris Bodie, winner of the $250 grand prize in the Heritage House "Make It Shine” raffle. And congrats as well to Stephanie Ames, who won the final $50 weekly drawing, as well as the three $75 bonus winners: Austin Martin, Alan Hipps, and Nona Hoskins.

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