One of the 1970s’ most popular TV shows, “The Carol Burnett Show,” will be once again tickling the funny bone of audiences on the Perry Players stage Thursday-Feb. 10.
“I chose this because Time magazine rated it one of the best TV shows of all time,” said artistic director Hunter Hufnagel. “Everybody knows ‘The Carol Burnett Show.’ A lot of people grew up watching the show, have good memories with their families. It’s hilarious. People remember their favorite skits, and I think that people are going to come see it to remember how it was when they used to watch it on TV every time. It’s just good, clean, family fun.”
The production, which has 12 cast members, will include portrayals of the four main actors of the show in addition to eight other “guest stars,” Hufnagel said. The main characters include Cathy Hutto, who plays Burnett, Mark Blankenship, who plays Tim Conway, Chad Sylvester, who plays Harvey Korman, and Paula Romans/Cathryn Whittington, who share the part of Vicki Lawrence.
“We have also got a perfect cast … people who look like the characters, and they do a great job of bringing those people back to life in these sketches,” Hufnagel said.
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The show, which runs about two hours, includes about 20 episodes from the show and is appropriate for all ages. Some of the sketches include “The Dentist,” Mrs. Wiggins sketches “The Oldest Man” and “As The Stomach Turns,” Hufnagel said.
“It’s the same TV show that ran during the ‘60s and ‘70s,” he said. “It ran for 11 years and had 25 prime-time Emmy awards. We are literally performing episodes from the TV show. I grew up loving Carol Burnett … watching reruns. She’s been one of my favorites, and I enjoy the humor… so it’s one of my favorite things to watch, too.”
Hufnagel said the show requires a lot of different props, scenes and costumes as a result of the sketches, and the end result is that the show is absolutely hilarious.
“We were laughing from the first night of rehearsals when people were reading from their skits” he said. “We’re trying to keep it to how the TV show was on TV, as close as we can.”
Blankenship, of Perry, said that the veteran cast has great camaraderie and “mesh really well.” Like Hufnagel, he said that he, too, started out enjoying this venue of comedy as a child and enjoyed watching the show. He said the show helped him to understand his “comical muse” and that doing the show is “a challenge but an honor indeed.”
Tickets are $15 for active military, senior citizens and students with identification and $18 for general admission, Hufnagel said. The shows will start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.