Two scenes from Actors' Workshop [Theatre] production
By Larry Shue
Miracle on Main Theatre
28 performances in 49 seat theatre (87% capacity)
Recorded on VHS tape
REVIEW AND SYNOPSIS
"The Actors' Workshop production of 'The Foreigner' is fun, and more. The Larry Shue comedy is an unqualified success and deserves to be listed among the best entertainment ever locally produced on any Ashland stage [home of Oregon Shakes].
. . .
"It's a modern comedy with an important social commentary that arises from the action, instead of being pounded through the dialogue. The setting is a fishing lodge in Tighlman County, GA. The lodge is owned by a widow, Betty Meeks (Christina G. Miles).
"The play begins in the midst of a storm, as Froggy LeSueur (Rick Sultan) and his friend, Charlie Baker (Doug Mitchell) arrive. They are from England. Froggy is a British explosives expert who teaches recruits at a local U.S. Army installation. He makes the trip at regular intervals and always stays at the Meeks' lodge.
"Charlie has spent 27 years as a proofreader in a science fiction publishing house. He is insecure and shy. He's barely entered the lodge when he says he shouldn't have come. He doesn't want to talk to anyone. To help Charlie in that aim of silence, Froggy tells others in the lodge that Charlie is a foreigner who doesn't understand English. So, of course, people don't talk to him; they talk at him. And they discuss their secrets in front of him, believing he can't understand them.
"The Klan, of course, is out to get Charlie just because he's a foreigner.
. . .
"Mitchell is an actor who has appeared in more than 100 plays. He's been in TV shows such as 'Dan August,' 'The FBI' and 'Cannon.' His experience is clear. His technique is a joy to watch because it is so smooth it's almost invisible. He acts Charlie from the inside out. In Friday's opening night performance his interpretation was nearly flawless. He's a bright star in an accomplished cast.
. . .
"This is one of those plays that can be enjoyed by avid theatergoers as well as by people who may see one play every 10 years. Make it this one.
"The Actors' Workshop theater is, as the term is used, "intimate," meaning small. This places demands on the actors, which all fulfill in this show, and limits capacity for audience. Yet, this play deserves every ounce of audience it gets. Three cheers and four stars for 'The Foreigner.'
'Klaatu barrada nikto.'"
--Al Reiss, The Mail Tribune