Playmakers has hit with 'Foreigner'
Strong performances anchor solid show
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Covington 's Playmakers Theatre and veteran director Kay Files have a definite hit on their hands with their production of Larry Shue's comedy "The Foreigner."
The show tells the tale of "Froggy" LeSueur (John Carambat), who is a British demolition expert, and his friend, Charlie (Scott Theriot).
Charlie is extremely shy and dreads having to hold even a simple conversation with anyone. So Froggy tells everyone at Betty Meeks Fishing Lodge in rural Georgia that Charlie can't speak English.
Unsuspecting visitors to the fishing lodge speak freely in front of Charlie. During the course of his three-day stay he overhears plans of an unexpected pregnancy, a minister's sinister plan and financial trouble at the lodge.
Award-winning actor John Carambat is, as always, solid as care-free Froggy.
Paula Leefmann's seamless work as Betty Meeks is one of the show's highlights.
Debbie Carambat shows dimension with her performance as Catherine Simms.
Award-winning actor Joe Sanders makes a triumph return to the stage after too long an absence.
His convincing portrayal of the red-neck leader of the Klu Klux Klan is unlike anything audiences have ever seen from this stage veteran.
Playmakers veteran actor Kenneth Faherty is convincing as the two-faced reverend who has some ulterior motives.
Fourteen-year-old Weston Twardowski gives a flawless performance as Catherine Simms' dimwitted brother, Ellard.
Newcomer Theroit is amazing as non-speaking Charlie Baker.
He brings an inner energy to his performance that stimulates the entire production. He has a soothing, calming effect on almost everyone he comes into contact with.
Rounding out the cast are Richard Bradley, Leigh Matlby, Margie Gibbs, Scarlet Johansen and Samuel Becket.
Set designer Russell Krogsgard has created another masterpiece. Files serves as costume designer.
Set dressers are Files, Donna Goods and Lisa Sharp. Goode handles the stage manager's duties.
"The Foreigner" will have performances Friday , Saturday and March 24 and 25 at 8 p.m.
There will be matinee performances Sunday and March 26 at 2 p.m. For reservations, call 893-1671. Playmakers is on Playmakers Road just off Lee Road in Covington.
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The Foreigner Is A Comedy Triumph at Playmakers
St. Tammany News, March 15
The Foreigner delighted an enthusiastic audience at Playmakers Theater on its gala champagne opening last Friday evening. The play centers on the socially inept Charlie Baker portrayed by Scott Theriot. He is so shy and introverted that even his wife finds him “shatteringly profoundly boring.” The setting is a fishing lodge in rural Georgia visited annually by “Froggy” LeSeuer, played by John Carambat, a military demolition expert who conducts training sessions nearby. He takes his friend Charlie with him but Charlie is overcome with fear at the thought of making conversation with strangers. So Froggy tells the other lodgers that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and does not speak or understand English. Once alone the fun really begins as Charlie overhears more than he should revealing secrets about the Reverend David Lee played by Kenneth Faherty, his red neck associate Owen Musser portrayed by Joe Sanders, and the Reverend’s fiancée, Catherine Simms played by Debbie Carambat. Many other nefarious revelations are made with the thought that Charlie doesn’t understand a word being said. That he actually does fuels the nonstop hilarity of the play and sets up the wildly funny climax. You must see the play to find out if evil triumphs over good.
Director Kay Files has assembled a terrific cast that comes together to make the play move right along. Theriot as Charlie gets most of the belly laughs as he trips through most of the play muted, but his brilliant body movements and the tongue of his unknown exotic native land climax in a riotously comedic gibberish monologue. The breakfast scene in which Ellard Simms played by Weston Twardowski tries to teach Charlie English is a laugh a minute. Ywardowski is outstanding as the dim-witted, yet engaging Ellard. John Carambat, while in a small role, is always a commanding presence on stage. He gives the Froggy character that touch of efficiency that you would expect from someone who likes to blow things up. And Debbie Carambat, the other half of the husband and wife team, handles the role of Catherine Simms with a grace and naturalness that make her a real pleasure to watch on stage. Paula Leffmann does a nice job portraying the aging Betty Meeks, the lodge owner, playing the role with a great deal of energy. Kenneth Faherty is very convincing in a difficult role as the conniving Reverend. He and Joe Sanders, who is believable as the stereotyped red neck, Owen Musser, play off each other very well. Sanders is a good foil in the comic scenes and is able to project a real sense of menace.. Always in character, he is thoroughly believable as one of those “good ole boys.”
The play’s set is one of the most decorative ever seen on the Playmakers stage. The set design comes from the versatile mind of Russell Krogsgard. The artistic touches are the work of John Carambat and several contributors with the construction handled by the cast. The setting is enhanced by the costumes designed and fashioned by Kay Files. Stage manager duties are handled by Donna Goode. The Foreigner has witty dialogue, broad slap-stick humor, and at times shows the dark side of human nature. All in all, it is an enjoyable two hours in the theater that is guaranteed to engender laughter long after the final curtain. The play will run for the next two Friday and Saturday nights with matinees on Sunday, March 19 and 26. For information and ticket reservations, call the Playmakers box office at 985-893-1671.