WARSAW — Local celebrities took the stage during “Off the Wagon, A Night of Unpredictable Comedy” held at the Wagon Wheel on Saturday, March 11.
The show was put on by the Center Street Community Theatre as a tribute to all things indicative of Warsaw. The evening was an effort to showcase local talent in a different setting than usual. Former star of “The Bachelor” Ben Higgins, Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer, Executive Director of the Kosciusko Community Foundation Suzie Light, Grace College Professor Mike Yocum and many others from the community participated in the light hearted evening. Eric Totheroh, who helped plan the event, said their goal for the evening was to, “Blend the world of community theatre and improv.”
The variety show began with a community-themed song sung by Maddison Heinl, Totheroh with Tanor Joy accompanying on the piano. The original piece included jokes about Warsaw being a “nearly stellar community,” in reference to Warsaw not receiving a highly anticipated Stellar grant last year.
Dramatic readings of the local “The Paper” Speak Outs took place in-between sketches. Letters read referenced several issues pertinent to the community. One writer questioned what had happened to the local Golden Corral restaurant. Another voiced concern over one school bus driver’s failure to use a stop-arm when dropping off kids. A concerned citizen warned about letting children use technology too much, for fear they wouldn’t know how to write in the future.
The evening included some confessions by local celebrities. Totheroh, Light and Thallemer took part in a game consisting of them telling one true and one false confession. The three then had to guess which of the confessions were true and which were false. Thallemer’s true confession was that when he gets stressed, “There’s nothing better than an episode of ‘Toddlers and Tiaras.'”
Various improv sketches, games and a radio show took place throughout the evening, all including jokes about “The Bachelor” and other happenings in the community. One improv sketch theorized about a marketing meeting focused on the merging of Zimmer and Biomet.
The evening ended with a improv murder mystery that included audience participation. The audience got to choose who was murdered and what the dark secrets each of the suspects on stage were hiding.