Lots of Laughs in “The Foreigner”
Using a thoroughly silly storyline that has a pleasant way of growing on you, “The Foreigner” picks up comedy energy throughout the evening, especially in ACT II, and ends up with the audience practically rolling in the aisles.
The storyline is set in rural Georgia at an old hunting lodge in the 1980s. Two Englishmen come into the empty lodge escaping a huge rain storm. One is “Froggy,” played by Brent Langdon, who is a British demolitions expert in the area to administer a training exercise. His friend Charlie has come along. Charlie is an extremely timid sc-fi proofreader who hates talking to people and has a sickly wife who has cheated on him 23 times. “Froggy” is trying to give Charlie a change of scene in hopes that it will boost his spirits and social skills.
At first, things don’t look too promising. But when the owner of the lodge, played by Carol Schultz arrives, things begin to pick up in a most unusual way. It seems she mistakes Charlie for a man from a mysterious, distant country who doesn’t speak English, so Charlie’s conversation fears are solved. The plot starts to develop some real legs when a conniving young minister, played by Matthew Carlson, and his fiance, played by Winslow Corbett, are also introduced into the storyline, along with a simple-minded young man played by Casey Predovic. Also on the scene is a good-old-boy with KKK ties, played by Jay Smith, who we find has some nefarious plans in store for the property where the lodge is located. Turns out Smith’s character is in cahoots with the minister for some unholy actions.
“The Foreigner” has a variety of tried and true comedy schtick that will remind you of a lot of great comedy teams you’ve seen in the movies. John Scherer is quite enjoyable as the faint-hearted Charlie who ends up reveling in his new-found identity and eventually, saving the day. It is he who really sells this show’s plot the best and sets the evening off in the right direction.
The large lodge set by scenic designer John Ezell is impressive and authentic. Pacing in the first act has a tendency to slow up the show a little, and the ending of Act I makes you wonder why they just didn’t make this a one-act play. But when the lights come up at the old Meeks Fishing Lodge Resort, I promise you will have enjoyed more laughs than you have in a long time. This “Foreigner” is no stranger to great humor and fun.