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In simultaneous theater, dance and spoken word

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If you're out and about for Raleigh's First Night celebration, keep an eye out for the unusual suspects from regional theater and dance. The award-winning Paper Hand Puppet Intervention entertains the kids from 3-5 p.m. that afternoon at Bicentennial Plaza, before spinning potent metaphors that night on the 200 block of Fayetteville St. Mall from 8-10 p.m. Seldom-seen EBZB Productions bring their take on the birth of flight, Wrights of Passage, to the N.C. Museum of History in the early hours as well at 2:30, 4:30 & 7 p.m.

Also Wednesday night, Chuck Davis' African American Dance Ensemble takes Convention Center's Main Arena for two one-hour shows at 7:15 & 9 p.m. Transactors Improv Company brings their amalgamation of improvised drama and comedy to Fletcher Opera House at BTI Center at 7, 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 p.m. Actors Comedy Lab brings the levity of David Ives, Kathy Najimy and Mo Gaffney to the Highway Building at the corner of Morgan and Wilmington St. for four shows on the hour between 7 and 10 p.m. Even Exchange Dance Company continues their year-long exploration of flight in Groundlessness at First Baptist Church between 8 & 10 p.m., while spoken word artist Richard Negri (pictured above) and saxophonist Howard Mall contemplate beat, be-bop and jazz at Christ Church from 8-11 p.m. Consult the website for further schedule and directions: www.firstnightraleigh.com.

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