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Carol Burnett sketches presented

Wolf River Theatrical Troupe to perform comedy skits

By Scott Bellile

With the Wolf River Theatrical Troupe’s next production, things at the REAL Opportunities Outreach arts center are about to get sketchy.

The troupe will stage the sketch comedy of a familiar American actress in its next production, “Skits From the Carol Burnett Show.”

Although the comedy of Carol Burnett is better known to those living in the 1960s and 1970s, play director Margie Brown said it was youth who showed her the troupe needed to do the show. She directed the New London High School spring play “A Tribute to the Carol Burnett Show” in 2014 and realized how well the jokes landed with teens.

This year she brings “Carol Burnett” to the primarily adult acting troupe, revamping the play and swapping out skits to make it new.

“Skits From The Carol Burnett Show” runs from Wednesday, Feb. 17, through Saturday, Feb. 20. All plays are at 7 p.m. at the REAL Opportunities Outreach, 304 St. John’s Pl. in New London.

The play will offer those familiar with “The Carol Burnett Show” a mixture of familiar and obscure skits and characters. The 10 skits “As the Stomach Turns,” “The Football Widow,” “Passion on 10th Avenue” and “The Coffee Car.”

Brown said the scripts provide her actors a great time in rehearsal.

“Sometimes we’re laughing so much we don’t get through much,” Brown said.

Clintonville actress Jeanine Supanich said the actors are getting their giggles out now in rehearsal so they don’t break character by laughing in front of the audience.

“I think this is going to be hysterical,” Supanich said.

New London High School actresses Dorea Lauer and Rella Besaw are two examples from the younger generation who connect with the humor of Carol Burnett’s 20th-century TV series.

“I feel like comedy used to be better than it is now,” Lauer said.

The girls said they find modern humor is often crude and at someone’s expense. They said Carol Burnett’s humor is lighthearted.

Because a joke won’t always land the same among each audience, Besaw said the best feeling is simply hearing the crowd laugh. Lauer said every laugh is an onstage confidence boost for the actors.

“Skits From the Carol Burnett Show” will act as a fundraiser for the troupe as it looks to buy air conditioning and new lights for REAL Opportunities Outreach.

Tickets cost $12 each and can be ordered by calling 920-982-6060.

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