Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Richey Suncoast Theatre puts on laugh-laden version of 'The Foreigner'

Just as you think The Foreigner is the most knee-slapping, guffaw-inducing comedy you've ever seen, it takes a delightfully sinister turn that first brings gasps of dread, then turns on a dime and provides more laughs.

Some theater groups make the late Larry Shue's best-known play all laughs, while others make it all frightful, but director Rich Aront says his crew is making it a combination, heavy on the giggles.

"We're definitely going for the comedy, but we do bring in the KKK part, too," Aront said, referring to a scene in which the white supremacist group is mentioned.

The Foreigner is the tale of shy and sad Englishman Charlie Baker (Nate Sakovich, Funny Money, There Goes the Bride), who accompanies the gregarious Staff Sgt. "Froggy" LeSueur (Anthony Sakovich, Richey Suncoast debut) to a backwoods hunting lodge in Georgia in hopes of forgetting his woes.

Froggy has to leave to go lead a training camp, but Charlie can't stand the thought of having to socialize with the others at the lodge. Froggy concocts an idea: He'll tell everyone that Charlie is from a foreign country and can't understand or speak a word of English. That way Charlie can be present but won't have to be involved with anyone.

Because Charlie "can't understand" what they're saying, the other guests talk freely about their secrets and affairs right in front of him.

The spoiled Southern girl Catherine Simms (Suzanne Delaney, RST newcomer) reveals how displeased she is about her relationship with the Rev. David Lee (Bob Marcela, John Smith in Caught in the Net). Catherine's younger brother, the slow but wise Ellard (C.J. Fowler, RST newcomer), tries to help Charlie learn English. And the nefarious county property inspector Owen Musser (Mark Lewis, Cabaret, The Music Man) inadvertently shows his true colors.

The most understanding and helpful is Betty Meeks (Anne Lakey, Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret), who owns the lodge and tries to make Charlie feel at home.

With all this, the comedy doesn't overshadow the messages about tolerance and friendship.

"The writing in this show is just so good," Aront said. "It leads you down a road, then takes a different turn. The characters constantly surprise you. Each one is so individual, but it's a nice ensemble piece, too."

.if you go

The Foreigner

The comedy in two acts is at Richey Suncoast Theatre at 8 p.m. Thursday and Jan. 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28; and at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 15, 22 and 29. Tickets are $17, reserved seating. Box office is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and an hour before each show at 6237 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. Call (727) 842-6777.

Richey Suncoast Theatre puts on laugh-laden version of 'The Foreigner' 01/05/12 [Last modified: Thursday, January 5, 2012 10:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Comedian and activist Dick Gregory dies at 84


    The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.

    Dick Gregory, a comedian, activist and author, died Saturday. [Tribune News Service, 2011]
  2. Winter Haven police investigating armed robbery at Dollar General


    WINTER HAVEN — Police are investigating an armed robbery Friday night of a Dollar General store on W Lake Ruby Drive.

  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  5. 'Free speech rally' cut short after massive counterprotest


    BOSTON — Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans converged Saturday on downtown Boston in a boisterous repudiation of white nationalism, dwarfing a small group of conservatives who cut short their planned "free speech rally" a week after a gathering of hate groups led to bloodshed in Virginia.

    Thousands of people march against a “free speech rally” planned Saturday in Boston. About 40,000 people were in attendance.