REVIEW: ‘The Foreigner’ – a hysterical but well-tempered farce

It takes a while for the title character to buy into the premise, but The Foreigner certainly pays off big time in the end. A hysterical but well-tempered version of Larry Shue’s 1983 farce opened at the Duluth Playhouse on Thursday, September 27.

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With almost two dozen reasons to be depressed, Charlie Baker (Cory Anderson) is dragged by his friend, “Froggy” LeSueur (Michael Pederson), from England to rural Georgia for some rest and relaxation.

Because of Charlie’s incapacitating fear of having to converse with strangers, Froggy concocts a story about Charlie being a foreigner who can neither speak nor understand the Queen’s English — or whatever it is they are speaking in Georgia.

Hence, the play’s title.

Director Dorothy Danner delivers an ensemble that universally demonstrates restraint, so that this farce never descends into the farcical.

Anderson’s foreign speak is funny enough, but the chief asset he brings to the role is his face: one moment lit up by a goofy grin, the next a mask of utter dejection. There are a couple of points where I thought we should have a better sense that Charlie is merely playing a foreigner (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), but you have to admire the way Anderson’s Charlie totally commits to the character.

To read the review in its entirety, please visit the Duluth News Tribune.

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GET TICKETS

WHEN: September 24-27, 2015
TIMES: Thursday-Saturday @ 7:30pm | Sunday @ 2:00pm
WHERE: The Duluth Playhouse (506 West Michigan Street, Duluth MN 55802)
TICKETS: Adults – $27 | Students – $20 | Groups (15+) – $23
PURCHASE TICKETS: Online at duluthplayhouse.org, call 218.733.7555, or stop by in-person to the Box Office inside the Duluth Depot Building

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This review originally appeared in the Duluth News Tribune on September 27, 2015 and was written by Lawrence Bernabo.

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