Unwind to the hysterics of the ‘Fun’ Raising Follies this weekend

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The “Fun” Raising Follies fundraiser for the Mississippi River Sculpture Park will take place this weekend in the Little Theater at Prairie du Chien High School. According to Organizer Cindy Hertrampf, “Mike McCoy’s interpretation of Lambeau Field and the Packers as Cousin Cletus is worth the price of admission alone.” (Courier Press file photo)

By Correne Martin

What could be more amusing than a show full of sarcastic songs, zany dances, hysterical jokes, exaggerated stories and riotous skits put on by your friends, neighbors and local celebrities?

For the second year in a row, the “Fun” Raising Follies, a variety-show fundraiser for the Mississippi River Sculpture Park, will offer a uniquely good time that’s sure to evoke plenty of laughter and side-splitting entertainment. Brought back due to the overwhelming response from last year’s audience of around 400, the Follies will once again be held in the Little Theater at Prairie du Chien High School.

Three performances are scheduled for this weekend: Friday, Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 10, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The “Fun” Raising Follies are presented by the Mississippi River Sculpture Park Board as well as the Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Department.

“Just like last year, this is a vaudeville-style production that showcases local talent and personalities and promises to be an experience to warm your senses and tickle your funny bone,” Organizer Cindy Hertrampf stated, noting that Follies has been modeled after the community’s popular Red Stocking Review of the late-1970s.

Organizers are not ready to divulge the hard-earned secrets of their hilariously memorable show, but they have said this year’s performances will be just as good and potentially funnier than last year’s. All new songs will be sung, dances and skits performed and funny stories told.

“Mike McCoy’s interpretation of Lambeau Field and the Packers as Cousin Cletus is worth the price of admission alone,” Hertrampf said. “It’s easy to see the camaraderie that has developed among the performers. Last year was such a positive experience and I see it again this year with our practices thus far. We were going to hold this event every other year, but it was such a great success that we decided we needed to do it again this year.”

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at Piggly Wiggly in Prairie du Chien. Tickets may also be obtained in advance by contacting Cindy Hertrampf at 326-4326. Seating is limited to around 250 per show or less and tickets are going fast.

Anyone interested in purchasing a “VIP ticket” in advance will receive special seating, an escort to their seat by “Marianne Labuche,” a DVD of the final show, a spot at the cast party after the show and photo opportunities with the stars of the performances.

Organizers hope descendants of Marianne Labuche, the local historical figure for which the park’s next statue represents, will be in the audience for this year’s Follies. Their attendance can also help the park board add some leaves to Aunt Marianne’s family tree. There will be a sheet for each of the three family branches that begin with Marianne and her three husbands: Duchouquette, Claude Ganier and Charles Menard. Descendants will be able to add themselves to these family trees.

“It blows me away to think that there are still descendants of this amazing woman among us,” Hertrampf said.

By unwinding at the Follies and taking in a good laugh, you will also be helping the sculpture park gain its next planned statue. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the “Fun” Raising Follies will be used toward the statues at the sculpture park on St. Feriole Island.

“This fundraiser will really make a big dent in the cost of our next sculpture. The sculpture park represents the history of the people who’ve walked in our community. It’s such an amazing facility we’re very lucky to have in Prairie du Chien,” Hertrampf added.

Don’t miss your chance to attend the Follies.

Hertrampf added, “What a great way to spend a cold, wintry evening—laughing so hard your stomach hurts.”

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