The Foreigner – Tacoma Little Theater Play Review – The Suburban Times

When I saw the list of Tacoma Little Theater productions for their 100th anniversary, I wondered “why”. My wife, Peg and I had seen The Foreigner at least two or three times. We remembered it as fun. This production is not fun, it is downright FUNNY!

This production is not fun, it is downright FUNNY! – Betty (Jen Aylsworth) & Charlie (Blake R. York) – Photo credit: Dennis K Photography

The plot: “In a rural fishing lodge in Georgia, Froggy LeSueur, a British demolitions expert who sometimes conducts training sessions at a nearby military installation, tries to put his friend Charlie Baker at ease. Charlie, a science fiction editor whose wife finds him boring, has come for a well-deserved getaway. The problem is that he is pathologically shy and terrified of having to converse with strangers at the lodge for three days. Froggy has to leave to take care of his military responsibilities, so in an attempt to help his shy friend, he tells lodge owner Betty that Charlie is from an exotic foreign land and doesn’t speak or understand the world. ‘English. Thus, the conversations at the lodge continue around Charlie as if he is not there at all, as it is assumed that he cannot understand them anyway. For example, Catherine Simms informs her fiancé, Reverend David Marshall Lee, that he is not as sterile as he says he is and that she is pregnant. County property inspector Owen Musser, who threatened to condemn the lodge, wants a private conversation with Reverend David. In the process, Charlie overhears a plot to undermine the value of the lodge through condemnation so David can buy it for a bargain price. Also, Ellard Simms, Catherine’s slow-witted brother, appears on the scene, and it becomes apparent that David is trying to make him look like an idiot so he can’t inherit his half of the family money. . – bard.org/study-guides/synopsis-the-foreigner

Edward Jones - Bart Dalton


For me, the funniest scene in the production is the feud between lovers Catherine (Caiti Burke) and David (Cody Wyld Flower). – Photo credit: Dennis K Photography

For me, the funniest scene in the production is the feud between lovers Catherine (Caiti Burke) and David (Cody Wyld Flower). While they argue, Charlie, a rather tall stranger (Blake R. York, who also appeared as Ralphie in the hit Christmas story TLT) tries to hide on the couch just twenty feet away. Blake played a big role in comedy with just him, a couch pillow, and his body. The public slowly shifted their attention from the unhappy couple to Charlie. . . and never looked back.

Big hugs to Charlie Stevens (right) who plays Ellard Simms, Catherine’s younger brother. – Photo credit: Dennis K Photography
Brink & Sadler

Big accolades to Charlie Stevens who plays Ellard Simms, Catherine’s younger brother. Ellard thrives in the relationship with stranger Charlie as he exudes first frustration and then friendship. The high school student holds up well on stage. He makes a lot of laughs and his character saves the day.

Michael Michener plays S/Sgt. Froggy LeSueur who created the fake Stranger Charlie persona. . . and is then bewildered by Charlie’s transformation. In this scene, Charlie makes up a story using gibberish, a hodgepodge of English, and pantomime as he entertains everyone. Froggy’s character is key to the plot and the latest burst of humor and dessert.

Charlie makes up a story using gibberish, a mishmash of English and pantomime as he entertains everyone. – Charlie (Blake R. York), Froggy (Mikel Michener) & Ellard (Charlie Stevens) – Photo credit: Dennis K Photography
Pierce College

Building inspector Owen Musser, played by Brian Cox looks and sounds a bit like a good old boy, “Get ‘er Done” comedian Larry the Cable Guy, is in cahoots with his fiancé David. Together they want to mow the Simm family. Owen is even more repulsive than a simple money thief; he is part of the “invisible empire”, a leaf head as some say. . . the leader of a local group that swears to rid America of Jews, Catholics and foreigners. Cox is doing a terrific job. Can you spell HATE! Peg said he would scare her if she met him on a dark evening. We were both amazed at how he kept himself from swallowing the toothpick that he constantly balanced on his tongue and only popped out to make a gesture.

Owen is skeptical of Charlie, then half-frightened of him as he looks like a demon with a prediction of doom and a threatening “the bees are coming down!” Charlie explains at the beginning that what he was saying was “Please calm down.” Owen isn’t sure yet. . . and later black magic and black magic combine to send a . . . well, you have to see the production. The play’s director says, “I hope you laugh until your stomach hurts as tears stream from your eyes like I did during the whole rehearsal process.”

Owen is skeptical of Charlie, then half-frightened of him as he looks like a demon with a prediction of doom and a threatening “the bees are coming down!” – Charlie (Blake R. York) & Owen (Brian Cox) – Photo credit: Dennis K Photography
Charles Wright Academy

The whole, by Charlie . . . I mean TLT decorator Blake R. York was excellent and very much like a cozy lodge. Jen Aylsworth played the owner of the lodge, but didn’t have many funny lines. Shame. The women did a good job, but the men controlled the action and Charlie and Ellard prevailed.

This is only the first of the 100th anniversary productions. I can’t wait to see the others. For more information and tickets, please visit: tacomalittletheatre.com/

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