July 23, 2015

The Foreigner: Summer Chills @ Alley Theatre

The Foreigner, a play by Larry Shue, is hysterically funny.  The story centers around Charlie Baker, a socially awkward Englishman on holiday in Atlanta, Georgia.  His friend has to go work and leave him alone at a remote fishing lodge with the owner and three fellow guests, so he arranges accommodations for his anxiety: everyone thinks Charlie is a foreigner who can't speak English.

This play is full of secrets, including a dastardly plan that does bring some summer chills.

Jeffrey Bean is terrific as Charlie.  It's a part that involves a great deal of physical comedy, and he's up for it.  Elizabeth Bunch, who I've seen previously as Rosalind, is terrific as Catherine Simms, who is often the straight man to her family, but who still knows how to have fun.  My favorite member of the cast might've been Annalee Jeffries as Betty Meeks, the lodge owner who is ready for retirement.  She reminded me of my paternal grandmother, who lived in Georgia her entire life.

I don't want to give too much of the story away, since discovering the secrets possessed by the residents of the lodge is a true delight.  But if you are in or around Houston, try to catch a showing!  It is on at the Alley Theatre @ UH through August 9.

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