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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Coronavirus: ‘The Golden Age of Comedy’ opening in Sturgeon Bay


Dan Sallinen plays Bob Newhart in a scene from Rogue Theater’s “The Golden Age of Comedy.” (Rogue Theater)

STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Rogue Theater will continue its “Drive-in Theater” outdoor play series this weekend with “The Golden Age of Comedy.”

According to a press release: Performances start at 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 18-19, in the back parking lot of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 1756 Michigan St. The series was started as an answer to restrictions caused by the coronavirus COVID-19.

A portion of proceeds will go to local food pantries. Info: (920) 818-0816.

The show brings back the days when family television was king. Scenes made famous by Lucille Ball, Bob Newhart, Carol Burnett, Harvey Corman, Tim Conway, Lily Tomlin, Minnie Pearl and more will be portrayed.

Artistic director Stuart Champeau selected a wide cross section of skits from a multitude of comedy variety shows. 

Performed without intermission are representations of such acts as Tim Conway as the Dentist, Lily Tomlin as Ernestine and Edith Ann and Carol Burnett as the Queen – with their frequent mishaps and slipups.

“The sketches are simply what they are, a collection of broad, cutting – for the time – humor from the comedian/entertainers we remember,” the troupe says.

The cast consists of Stuart Champeau, Lola DeVillers, Dan Sallinen, Keri Grimsley, Skyler Champeau, Michelle Reinhard, David Clowers and Jamie Buesing.

The sloped parking lot offers an amphitheater setting. Actors use microphones plugged into a radio receiver. Patrons listen on their radio from the comfort and safety of their vehicle. 

All performances are weather permitting.

Ahead on the schedule:

++ Aug. 1-2: “Alabama Bound” by Charlotte Higgins. Southern women in various stages of trouble.

++ Aug. 8-9: “High School Performers.” Local student performances.

++ Aug. 15-16: “Susan and Elizabeth: A Friendship of Consequence.” Written and performed by Susan Kohout and Chris Milton.

++ Aug. 22-23: “Just Plane Funny.” Collection of comedy skits.

++ Aug. 29-30: “Golden Age of Comedy.” TV skits from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.

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