With a talented cast, a superb set and an abundance of humor, Brigham Young University's "The Foreigner" is sure to be a hit with audiences.
As the show begins, the audience is introduced to Charlie, who has arrived for a brief stay at Betty Meeks' Fishing Lodge Resort in Georgia. Because the thought of having a conversation with a stranger nearly sends shy Charlie into nervous convulsions, his friend Froggy LeSueur tells Betty that Charlie can't speak English - he's a "foreigner."At first Charlie is reluctant to participate in the deception, but soon he is playing the role to its fullest with hilarious results. Soon, others are helping him add to his newly developed "personality."
Marc E. Shaw is absolutely endearing as Charlie, winning over the audience even as he attracts the affection of the other residents of Betty's fishing lodge. Over the course of the play, as Charlie begins to gain new confidence in himself, Shaw plays it up with a charming smile and ever-increasing exuberance. (He is hilarious as he tells a story to the other cast members in his own made-up language using a linen napkin as a prop.)
Katie Foster is also a standout as Catherine Simms. She adds a harsh and sarcastic edge to her character but manages to soften and become caring and concerned when she is around Charlie.
The strength of Catherine's character stands up well against that of her fiance, the charming and scheming Rev. David Marshall Lee, played by Brad Montgomery.
An audience favorite was Aaron Johnston as the not-too-bright Ellard Simms. With childlike enthusiasm, Aaron runs about the stage and it's great fun to watch his excitement build as he teaches Charlie new words. One of the funniest scenes involves them at breakfast, as Charlie mimics Ellard's movements and Ellard stares back in amazement.
Filling out the cast are Roger Nelson as "Froggy," Martha Henstrom as Betty Meeks and Cameron Deaver as Owen Musser. Playing townspeople are Tara Paige Starling, Julie Kriner and Martin Juul Sorensen.
The set is especially impressive, including log walls and a large stone fireplace with a chimney extending high above.
Details complete the illusion include a picturesque log home in the woods, heavy wood furniture and braided rugs, as well as an assortment of stuffed wild animals.
Be sure to catch this well-performed version of "The Foreigner," directed by Charles Metten. It has all the ingredients to guarantee an evening filled with laughter.