Rollicking Farce Tickles the Funny Bone


The author of It Runs in the Family, Ray Cooney, has been referred to as the British Neil Simon. Cooney also acts, produces, and directs in London’s West End. He is famous for his fast-paced farces filled with plenty of slapstick action like the Playhouse’s season opener, Cooney’s own It Runs in the Family.

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BEST BETS: ‘The Foreigner’ opens at the Duluth Playhouse

A distressed guest at a Georgia lodge pretends to not know a lick of English in a farce by Larry Shue that premiered Off Broadway in the mid-1980s. Charlie becomes “The Foreigner,” the titular character of a play about what people will say when they don’t think anyone is listening — or can, at least, understand them.

Michael Pederson as Froggy LeSueur and Cory Anderson as Charlie Baker in the Duluth Playhouse production of 'The Foreigner,' a comedic farce by Larry Shue.

Michael Pederson as Froggy LeSueur and Cory Anderson as Charlie Baker in the Duluth Playhouse production of ‘The Foreigner,’ a comedic farce by Larry Shue.

Like, for instance: an heiress in turmoil, a dark preacher, a maternal lodge-keeper, a would-be heir and a cruel property inspector with an eye on the property.

Read the BEST BET in the Duluth News Tribune:

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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One Play, Two Couples

Louisa and Luke

At one point in her introduction to her future husband, Cheryl Skafte wrapped her arms around his knees and tried to physically lift him off the ground.

It was an audition for a play; Skafte was trying to convey playfulness.

She jumped on his back. She almost tripped him. Afterward, Skafte sent Luke Moravec an email: “That was the most fun audition I’ve ever had,” she recalled writing. “We should hang out.”

Less than three years later, the Duluth theater regulars — who ended up playing siblings in “The Three Musketeers” — were married.

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