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The Foreigner
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Larry Shue

COMPANY : Rosewater Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Cumming Playhouse [WEBSITE]
ID# 2198

SHOWING : April 13, 2007 - April 28, 2007

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

The scene is a fishing lodge in rural Georgia often visited by "Froggy" LeSeuer, a British demolition expert who occasionally runs training sessions at a nearby army base. This time "Froggy" has brought along a friend, a pathologically shy young man named Charlie who is overcome with fear at the thought of making conversation with strangers. So "Froggy," before departing, tells all assembled that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and speaks no English. Once alone the fun really begins, as Charlie overhears more than he should�the evil plans of a sinister, two-faced minister and his redneck associate; the fact that the minister's pretty fiancée is pregnant; and many other damaging revelations made with the thought that Charlie doesn't understand a word being said. That he does fuels the nonstop hilarity of the play and sets up the wildly funny climax in which things go uproariously awry for the "bad guys," and the "good guys" emerge triumphant. Winner of two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards as Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production. An inspired comic romp, equal in inventive hilarity to the author's classic comedy The Nerd, the present play enjoyed a sold-out premiere in Milwaukee before moving on to a long run Off-Broadway. Based on what the NY Post describes as a "devilishly clever idea," the play demonstrates what can happen when a group of devious characters must deal with a stranger who (they think) knows no English. "I laughed start to finish at one comic surprise after another." �The New Yorker. "�a constant invitation to relax and laugh at the foolishness of life�" �Village Voice. "Shue's comedy is positively antic, yet pleasantly seasoned with a few dashes of sentimentality�He has raided comedy's storehouse�" �Bergen Record.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Don DeBord
Light Design & Sound Tech Deryl Cape
Charlie Brian Baumann
Catherine Bonnie S Coker
Reverend David Lee David Lanni
Froggy Mercury
Ellard Mark W. Schroeder
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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A Fun Night At The Theatre
by MuzicKal
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
4.0
Most of the review of Parrot I agree with. I want to take the time to compliment the amazing set. I think one review gave far too much praise to this show. It was a very good show, but not unflawed. Froggy was fun, but many times I could not understand what he was saying. The Reverend was mediocre at best. I felt the ingenue came off very unlikable in the beginning, and so I really couldn't feel much sympathy for her. I did warm up to her a lot more in Act 2. The Old woman was great, but during the exposition scene at the beginning, talked way too fast. the highlight of this show (and almost flawless) was the performances of Mark Schroeder, John Spencer and Brian Baumann. All of the actors deserve credit for keeping great comedic timing and a very nice pace. Over all, I was extremely impressed with the show and the theater. It is worth seeing in my book. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
The Foreigner is the best fish outta water story
by Square
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
5.0
The Foreigner is of course a two-act Southern comedy written by the late great Larry Shue. The show has had a loyal following since its inception and in 2001 Matthew Broderick portrayed the main character Charlie Baker to rave reviews. Now the famous Rosewater theatre has their hands on the show and is sure to attract crowds ready for a few laughs and to stick it to the prejudice that is present in Georgia still. The show is a British fellow on holiday in Georgia who is mistaken for a foreigner do to the chagrin of the Klu Klux Klan.

The Foreigner being presented at the Cumming Playhouse produced by the Rosewater theatre company is a truly amazing show for many reasons. First the location that the show is being played at. Cumming, GA is a area with history notorious for the KKK and for lynch mobs is in the very center for the play. So it is a very gutsy move by the actors and the crew of this brilliant show to come out and take a stand for truth and honor.


First lets start with the direction of the play, here we have Mr. Don Debord a theatre veteran with such an impressive resume and with such talent directing such a difficult show. And the trick is he never misses a beat, the creates an atmosphere for the actors and crew to do their best and for the story to enfold at a great pace. Here we have an actual director who takes part in all the aspects of the show and his fingerprints are everywhere on this show with such a positive influence.

The stage itself becomes more and more of a character as the show progresses, its a very odd stage of course, it is a mixture of ingenuities architecture and a area with comings and goings galore, a sort of fun house with new things popping in and out through the show. The beauty of the set is it is so detailed but does not take away from the show. Interesting how we think the deer heads maybe hearing all the nonsense as well as Charlie.

Brian Baumann just may be the next big thing around and this is certainly his breakout role. Brian does not just go through the motions of portraying Charlie but lives and breathes him to life creating a genuine moving sympathetic and hilarious presence. It is also so incredible the depth he brings to the character of Charlie and we can see in his eyes as he wonders about he got to this point in his life where he a boring loser with an uber-philandering wife. The transition Brian makes from Charlie to Chaa-oo-lee is not only believable but also a textbook example of true artistry and human physical comedy at his best. Brian does steal of course from other great physical comedians but not to make himself look good but to present that the character is a real character that is in such a plight he has to make this up as he goes. Many of you I review many rosewater shows and i have been quite negative with Mr. Baumann in the past, but here Baumann shines and he shows that he is also just having a wonderful time with the character and his infectious quality about him not only wins over the audience with the show but also makes his supporting characters exuberate more excellence in acting. Brian Baumann has found his signature role and is one of the best reasons to come and see this show. Brian Baumann gives the best fish outta water story since Bill Murray in Lost in Translation and that is a fact.

But of course dont forget the supporting cast, they all do their parts to a tee to make this show just "remarkable". Hopefully Danielle Bugay will continue not to be typecast as old spinsters but he is excellent as old Betty Meeks and finds a special naivet that creates some lighthearted moments that dont have to be gut-bustlingly funny but delightful all the same. Bonnie Coker as Catherine delves into her soul and brings true magic to her character. A true find is Dave Lanni in his first real acting role as the Reverend David Lee. It is always a treat to find new talent and the character of the Reverend is a difficult role to be able to appear as an innocent hero and yet as a scheming bigot that the reverend and Dave Lanni carries his role excellently. It is truly a marvel to see the spirit of the theatre hit unsuspecting people like this. Mercury as Froggy is an added treat to the show and the banter between Froggy and Charlie is a scene of professional actors taking the script and giving the real treatment, Mercury adds true British humor to an otherwise Southern comedy making not just a message to Americans but a world message. Mark Schroeder as Ellard is nothing short of spectacular in a role that requires to play the semblance of a simpleton but with motion that he does know more and everybody else. Schroeder gives us some of the excellent comedy we expect from him and its always a marvel to watch him.

Brett Tanner does nothing but enthrall the audience with his take on the character of Owen. Here is a actor thatr truly takes the character at home and never stops to work on making the performance better. Here we have the best example of a crowd-pleaser without playing to the audience. Tanner digs deep to bring ther demons and fears of Owen to metamorp them into his own fearsome image disqusing his true self. It is a joy to watch Tanner find Owen funny in his Southern bigotry and yet a sobering scary spectacle as the moments of true racism peeks out. Here is a performance that will stay with you long after the show is over and will haunt you with the presence of true excellence in acting.

The Foreigner is more than just a night at the theatre, it is a message that is exploding to American and more than ever needs to be expressed. The cast and crew find the right tone to leave you breathless and to challenge you to look on your own life and see that life is an adventure to be shared with all. You will be talking about this show long after its over, the performances, the set, direction are all not foreign, nor domestic, just pure perfection human.
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hmmm... by feether
from a post on brian baumann's myspace blog:

"USA Today'what we have here is a theatre with major guts to do a major cultural and political show attacking a platform that makes its home in the birth of the movement of the invisible empire. And they poke fun at it in a dignified intelligent manner that shows there are artists who are not going to waste time on ridiculous matters of time but issues that can be changed. And of course, of course I can not ignore the energies of Brian Baumann. Here is a man who gives 100% and more in one of the great comic performances since Bill Murray in Lost in Translation. He is moving and captivating as Charlie Baker but as Cha-oo-lee is a marvel tour-de-force that defies physics and commonality.' Norman Seigel"

interesting that in his blog, brian uses the same bit about lost in translation (falsly attributing it to a reviewer in a national paper) as this revewer...
Why haven't I seen this one before?
by Parrott65
Friday, April 20, 2007
4.0
I've always seen theatres do this show here and there, but never got off my butt to actually see one until last night. My review, though probably tainted due to having a couple of people in the show that I know, will be as honest as I can make it. First of all, the show was hilarious. I had no idea it was as funny as it was, which makes me want to audition for the next one that comes around. The set design was fantastic!! I really have an appreciation for a set designer that can take a small space and turn it into a large room. I spoke with Scott after the show and he indicated that they certainly used every inch of that stage they could squeeze out of it. The layout was well thought out and very detailed, which put them ahead of most. Lighting was excellent, not too bright, not too low (except maybe during the scene where the power to the house was disrupted...maybe use some more blue "moonlighting"?). I think they did a good job with the sound design in respects to using sound effects. However, I did have a problem with a lack of some filler music or something between scenes. There was one moment, I think in Act 1, that the lights were down waaaaay too long without something needing to happen. Maybe fill it with some music and it's fixed, no more problem.

The other part of the show that may be construed as a negative to me was the lack of "southern dialect" development of a couple of characters. Ok, let me pinpoint who I'm referring to. I speak mostly of David Lanni, who played the Reverend. His accent attempt was, needless to say, a bit forced and then non-existant in the same sentence. The other ones were fine, especially Bret Tanner. Mark Schroeder certainly had me laughing with his "fowark" lines. I guess I have too much southern blood in me.

Blocking was very well done and I could clearly see the actors understood their use of the stage and filling it up. It was a Thursday night and there were a few spots where the actors were trying to get in the groove of things and falling short here and there, but that's natural on a Thursday night when you've gone all week without rehearsing, especially on a sometimes fast-paced comedy as this is. So, they were forgiven, especially since I've heard they really rock the house on the weekends. :)

I want to say, great job to Mark, Brian, Bonnie, and Danielle for a job well done!!! Good show, good show. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
mark is my bff by feather


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