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From left to right, Kristen Bertsch, Devin Carey and Julie Hart-Schutte rehearse a skit Tuesday that is part of the Mitchell Area Community Theatre's annual Ladies Night Out event. The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Pepsi-Cola Theatre for the Performing Arts. (Jennifer Jungwirth/Republic)

Mitchell ACT's annual Ladies Night Out features classic TV comedy

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A TV classic is making a comeback in Mitchell this weekend -- live and on stage.

The Mitchell Area Community Theatre's annual Ladies Night Out opens Friday at the Pepsi-Cola Theatre for the Performing Arts and it will feature sketches from "The Carol Burnett Show."

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The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Advanced tickets are available at Brenda's Second Impressions on Main Street, Mitchell.

Ladies Night Out has been entertaining crowds for five years, after a local book club was looking for something to offer women in the winter.

"The ladies wanted something for fun in the middle of winter, an evening out with the girls," said Carol Grode-Hanks, who is directing this year's Ladies Night Out.

Julie Hart-Schutte, one of the women who helped spearhead the show, said since it inception it's taken on a life of its own.

This year's production is based on "The Carol Burnett Show," a smashingly successful comedy-variety television series that ran from 1967-1978. The show starred Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner and Tim Conway.

"Today we're so used to 'Saturday Night Live,' it will be nice to see those old skits come back and see them redone," said Kristen Bertsch, an actress in the Ladies Night Out program.

In the television series, the actors and actresses were always in sync. That same connection has been made with the cast for Ladies Night Out.

"Their synergy is there. It's right on," Grode-Hanks said. "Whether they throw in a funny accent or forget a line and ad-lib, everyone goes with it."

And often, the ad-libs result in fits of laughter from the cast. But that's what happened on the television series, Grode-Hanks said.

"Oooh, it's funny," Hart-Schutte said. "The sketches are directly from her show."

She added that many from the audience will recall some of the skits, like "As the Stomach Turns," a spoof on the soap opera "As the World Turns," and "The Howl and the Pussycat," a tale of an engaged couple, a "cat" and an allergy.

The cast of six -- Bertsch, Hart-Schutte, Micaela Nelson, Roger Allen, Devin Carey and Linda McEntee -- are no strangers to the stage. Bertsch and Allen are debuting for the ACT, but Bertsch was involved in theater while at Dakota Wesleyan University and Allen was an actor in Mitchell community theater with the Pioneer Players.

In addition to the show, dessert made by the Mitchell Technical Institute culinary students will be served along with a variety of beverages.

Door prizes donated by local businesses will also be drawn for.

And although it's a Ladies Night Out, Hart-Schutte said men are welcome; however, "they may be a little razzled by some of those door prizes."

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