Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 03 December 2012 16:31

'The Foreigner' at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Written by Robert Mitchell
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

(L to R): John Scherer as Charlie Baker and Casey Predovic as Ellard Simms
(L to R): John Scherer as Charlie Baker and Casey Predovic as Ellard Simms repstl.org / Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

An unlikely pick for a holiday show provides loads of laughs at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

In the mood for a few laughs this holiday season? If so, think about heading to the Repertory Theater of St. Louis for their current production of Larry Shue’s classic farce, The Foreigner.

As in all farce, the simple story is quite complicated – so here goes: Charlie, a socially-anxious science fiction editor from London,  is in a funk.  His beloved, but philandering wife is in hospital, with only a few months to live. His best pal, Froggy, a military demolitions expert, brings Charlie along on assignment to the good ol’ U. S. of A.  – hoping that a little R and R in a small B and B in rural Georgia will help him cheer up. The inn’s proprietor, Betty, has problems of her own. She fears that the town’s new building inspector, Owen Musser, plans to shut her down. She may have to sell to the good Rev. David Lee, who is staying at the inn, along with his fiancée, southern heiress Catherine and her simple brother Ellard. Upon learning that there will be other guests at the hotel, and that he may have to actually talk to them, shy Charlie has a mini-anxiety attack. Froggy comes up with the perfect solution – he tells everyone that they cannot communicate with Charlie, , because he is “as foreign as the day is long”, and  cannot speak a word of English. Charlie hates this plan, but when he overhears some delicate information from several of the characters, to be polite,  he is forced to play the role of “The Foreigner” – a role he soon begins to enjoy.  However, when conversations veer from the innocuous to the downright sinister, hilarity ensues  as Charlie has to use all of his wits to save the place and the people that he has grown to love.  

Sight gags, and especially verbal gags abound in this production, tightly directed by Edward Stern, who also directed the Rep’s production of The Foreigner 25 years ago. Surprisingly he has the same exact design team as before – John Ezell on sets, Dottie Marshall Englis on costume, and Peter Sargent on lights – who all perform their perspective duties with the professionalism that you expect from the Rep.

Brent Langdon is appropriately Brit as Froggy, and has his finest moments as he discovers how thoroughly Charlie has adapted to his role. Matthew Carlson as the Reverend seems a little youngish, but I guess that makes later discoveries about him a little more shocking. Winslow Corbet and Casey Predovic as the siblings Catherine and Ellard, are very good, and both have many wonderful and hilarious stage moments. Jay Smith as Owen Musser has a dead lock on good-old-boy goofiness, but sometimes good-old-boys can be dangerous, and  I think we could use a teeny-tiny bit more menace from him, even in the funny scenes.  Carol Schultz, is a delight as Betty, and the fun she has onstage is quite infectious.  But, of course, the night belongs to the title character, the foreigner. John Scherer pulls off Charlie with the perfect blend of heart, and silliness. I would imagine that it takes discipline not to go too far, but just far enough, in a role like this – and Scherer does that with aplomb.

Now I have seen quite a few productions of The Foreigner, and most them were very funny – because, frankly,  it’s quite hard to mess up with this superbly crafted script.  But what struck me about the Rep’s production is a depth of characterization that you rarely see in farce, and I think it was a wise decision. Real people, in this real situation, acting in outlandishly unreal ways, makes this comedy quite enjoyable. There are too many very funny bits to list here – just be assured that if you want a good laugh, that there is more than enough opportunity with The Foreigner.

Additional Info

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr
KDHX Blog

Local Artist Spotlight


Tok Releases Gold Dollar Hen House Volume 3

Tue April 8
Tok is a Festus based rock band who has been rocking St. Louis for 20 years. They are due to release their third installment of their Gold Dollar Hen House collection on February 28, 2014 at Schlafly's…

KDHX Recommends

April
Friday
18

The Minus Five

KDHX welcomes The Minus Five to Off Broadway on April 18th.   For more info, offbroadwaystl.com.


April
Saturday
19

Get Down To Business: Getting Booked Locally and Beyond

Ever wondered how to get that talent buyer to open your emails?  KDHX is here to help.   Join St. Louis promoters Steve Pohlman of Off Broadway, Brian McCormac of The Old Rock House, and Mike Cracciolo of The...


April
Tuesday
22

Tuesdays at KDHX Sessions: Worm-A-Rama

Tuesdays at KDHX Sessions presents Earth Day Worm-A-Rama with Jean Ponzi on Tuesday, April 22 at 7:30pm at The Stage. This visual-musical celebration of living on earth will feature musical guest, Augusta Bottoms Consort, tuneful...


Online Users

3 users and 8154 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook