Larry Shue loved his comedy. And not just any comedy – but slapstick, drag down, knock out, CLASSIC comedy. Even though The Foreigner opened to sell-out audiences in Milwaukee in 1984, the script feels more like the golden age of comedy a la Sid Caesar. Under the expert direction of Nelson Sheeley, Sinclair Theatre tackles Shue’s classic romp beginning this weekend.
Set in a resort fishing lodge in Georgia, the comedy revolves around two of its guests, Englishman Charlie Baker and Staff Sergeant Froggy LeSueur. Charlie is so painfully shy that he is unable to speak. To explain it away, Froggy claims his companion is the native of an exotic country who does not understand a word of English. Before long, Charlie finds himself privy to assorted secrets and scandals freely discussed in front of him by the other visitors. These include spoiled Southern belle Catherine Simms and the man to whom she is somewhat reluctantly engaged,and impregnated by, the Reverend David Lee, a seemingly humble preacher with a dark underside. Her younger brother, Ellard, a chubby and somewhat “slow” boy is a simpleton who tries to teach Charlie how to speak English. Owen Musser, the racist county property inspector, plans to oust property owner Betty Meeks and convert the lodge into a meeting place for the Ku Klux Klan.
The Foreigner is undoubtedly a great evening of laugh-out-loud antics.
It’s hilarity heaped upon hilarity in a style as old as the Greeks, perfected by Carol Burnett, and still the stuff of television sitcoms. In an unprecedented feat for such a wild farce, Shue won two Obie Awards and two Outer Circle Critics Award for Best New American Play and Outstanding Off-Broadway Production of 1984. The only other major return to New York for the play was the 2004 Roundabout Theatre Production starring the then fresh-off-The Producers Matthew Broderick. However, Shue never saw the success of his work following the Milwaukee original cast as he passed away just one year after its premiere. He was just 39, and still his two major plays – The Foreigner and 1981’s The Nerd are indeed a part of the American Theatre fabric.
The Sinclair cast includes: Chris Hahn, Isaac Hollister, Melissa Kerr Ertsgaard, Nick Moberg, Sarah Parsons, Travis Clyburn and Steven Brotherton.
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Tickets & Performance Information:
Larry Schue’s THE FOREIGNER – February 08-26 – Performance Times Vary (click for details)
Tickets Prices: $15 Adult; $10 Students/Seniors/Sinclair Employees
Location: Blair Hall Theatre, Building 2, Sinclair Community College – 444 West Third St, Dayton, OH 45402 (MAP)
Tickets are on sale now through Sinclair Theatre’s Online Box Office, or via phone at (937) 512-2808
For more information about Dayton Theatre Guild’s entire 2010-2011 season, visit http://www.sinclair.edu/arts/theatre/season/index.cfm or contact Sinclair Theatre via email at [email protected]