A Fast and Funny Farce

A new Playhouse season gallops out of the gate with a fast-paced farce sure to deliver laughs: playwright Larry Shue’s The Foreigner. With a cast filled with powerhouse Playhouse veterans and director Dottie Danner back after directing Les Miserables and Jesus Christ Superstar the last two seasons, audiences are in for a comic delight.

The Foreigner tells the improbable story of “Froggy” LeSueur (Mike Pederson), an explosive expert in the British army, and his extremely timid friend, Charlie Baker (Cory Anderson), who visits a run-down backwater fishing lodge in Georgia.

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Charlie is insistent that he does not want to mingle with the staff or other guests, so he had Froggy tell the others at the lodge that Charlie is a foreigner who neither speaks or understands English. Of course, complications develop as the motley crew at the lodge get comfortable speaking openly about their various underhanded plots in Charlie’s presence.

The backwoods cast of characters includes the sweet lodge owner Betty Meeks (Cathy Berggren), the Southern debutante Catherine Simms (Louisa Scorich), and her slow-witted brother, Ellard Simms (Jonathan Manchester). The villains of the piece are the underhanded Reverend David Marshall Lee (Jason Scorich)( and ultimate redneck Owen Musser (Jody Kujawa).

Danner says, “The strongest appeal of the script for me was the wonderful memory of seeing The Foreigner at the Astor Place Theatre when it first opened in New York. It was one of our favorite family evenings in the theatre, and I wanted the chance to share the experience with others.”

An example of what the set of 'The Foreigner' may look like. Photo of 'The Foreigner' as performed as the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.

An example of what the set of ‘The Foreigner’ may look like. Photo of ‘The Foreigner’ as performed as the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.

She adds, “To journey into different styles of theatre is very exciting and stimulating, so I jumped at the opportunity to do a play! Most of the shows and operas I direct have multiple locations. I am excited to be in one space and concentrate on the development of characters. The angled set extends to the audience which creates an added dimension. Set designer Curt Phillips has included an outside surround which will be great fun to explore and new tot he production possibilities of the play.”

The show is tailor-made to open the season with rollicking comedy with a bit of satire and social commentary thrown in for good measure. Danner notes, “The Foreigner is a very funny play, and the audiences will be delighted by the farcical characters and situations. The will cheer for the heroes and boo the villains.”

Get Tickets Today!

What: The Foreigner by Larry Shue
When: September 17-27, 2015 (Thursday-Saturday @ 7:30pm | Sundays @ 2:00pm)
Where: The Duluth Playhouse (506 West Michigan Street)
Tickets: Online at duluthplayhouse.org, call 218.733.7555, or stop by the Box Office (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm)
Prices: Adults – $27 | Youth/Students – $20 | Groups (15+) – $23

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This article was written by Sheryl Jensen and first appeared in The Callboard, the Playhouse bi-monthly newsletter (Volume 57, Number 1).

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