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Heart of La Crosse

Yes, that’s the Heart of La Crosse troupe posing in front of the electronic billboard along Hwy. 16. And, yes, they will surely have a gag or two about it in their upcoming show, “Take a Walker on the Wild Side or I Can’t Barrett Another Minute,” which opens Sept. 6. They are, from left, Bret Emmel, Lisa Warsinske, Doug Lietke (in back), Tracy Ballzer and Brad Williams. Not pictured is cast member Todd Olson, director is Jim Warsinske and technical designer is Trevin Thomson.

Make ’em laugh. That’s the rule Heart of La Crosse lives by.

Whether that means standing by an electronic billboard along Hwy. 16 dressed as superheros or sharing their take on karaoke, the funny women and men of Heart of La Crosse are looking for your funnybone — and they won’t rest until they’ve broken it in two.

This time around, the troupe is leading off with the biggest headline of the year, which, of course, involves Wisconsin’s drawn-out political battles. But don’t worry. “Take a Walker on the Wild Side or I Can’t Barrett Another Minute” is likely to give equal time to annoying both sides of the political aisle.

Heart of La Crosse members also will take some jabs at the controversy surrounding the electronic billboard, and they’ll also reveal what they believe is the private side of the La Crosse mayor.

They’ll present the downtown post office as an endangered species and then take a lighthearted look at Andy Griffith.

And karaoke afficionados, look out, they’re coming for you with Karaoke Palooza.

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“It features the passions of would-be professional singers who end up being table heckled,” said cast member Lisa Warsinske. “You know the types — the ones who won’t sing, but they show up on karaoke night just to complain to each other about the singers. What gives?”

They also will have improv and song parodies, and one can only imagine what they will do with the “50 Shades of Grey” erotic novel when they have two men discuss the book and share how it has affected their lives.

And if you’re still hot under the collar about the city’s new garbage rules, well, it’s not Heart’s job to bring reason to the table. No, the troupe will mix up a stew of outrageous suggestions about what to do with your trash.

“Our show this year is truly about La Crosse itself and the many personalities who make it a colorful spot to settle,” said Warsinske. “The show is all sketch comedy that the troupe writes ourselves. We start meeting in May to see what everyone has for topics. Some meetings are more about yelling at each other, but eventually the director herds the kittens, and we shape up another fun show.”

Warsinske also is bringing back Gladys, her sassy elderly gal with a walker.

“(Gladys) loves to involve the audience, and get to know a few handsome men. Usually a member of the audience ends up in the scene with her, and it’s never the same sketch twice. When reached via phone today, she was unwilling to share what she’s up to this year,” Warsinske said. “Be very afraid!”

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