Photos by Bob Conrad
“The Foreigner” is Reno Little Theater’s newest hilarious play that is a must-see. Englishman Charlie Baker finds himself in an awkward situation when he’s staying at a friend of a friend’s home in rural Georgia. Feeling nervous, he asks his friend, Froggy Lesueur, to tell the others to speak to him. Froggy creatively decides to tell the homeowner, Betty Meeks, that Charlie is a foreigner and doesn’t speak or understand English. However, Betty is enamored by this and the opposite effect happens.
Charlie meets the rest of the clan. Catherine Simms and her fiancé Reverend David Marshall Lee are looking to buy the house off of Betty once the pair are married. Catherine’s brother, Ellard, is also around to help with tasks despite him being a little slow.
I found the most humor came from Ellard’s antics. The scenes with him and Charlie are both heartwarming and gut-busting funny. The two held an amazing friendly chemistry on stage that made the play 10-times better.
Throughout Charlie’s time getting to know everybody, deep secrets arise and a serious threat emerges. This stark contrast to the earlier humor was a little jarring, but a little bit of the comedy remained throughout the action scenes and helped to maintain the light mood of the play.
While the beginning was a bit slow and took awhile to get to the meat of the play, it was necessary to set up for the ending. Watching the introduction, though, I was nervous on what route the play would take. I was pleasantly surprised.
A small aspect that was confusing was the time period of the show. It’s meant to be set in the ’80s, yet there were smart phones being used. Charlie used his cell phone to look up Froggy’s number to then call him on the house phone, which just seemed absurd and a pocket phone book could easily replace this.
Another instance as at the end when Froggy pulled out his phone to show Charlie a message that could’ve come through a letter. However, these are simple changes to make and perhaps they were already made.
With this being said I strongly urge all to see this well-rounded hilarious show. While the cursing is minimal to none, there are a few sensitive subjects presented that may be unsuitable for young children. There was little to find wrong in the show and I genuinely enjoyed my time.
- Web: http://renolittletheater.org/events/event/the-foreigner/
- Written by: Larry Shue
- Directed by: Rod Hearn
Evening Show Dates: 5/24, 5/25, 5/30 (tt), 5/31, 6/1, 6/6 (tt), 6/7, 6/8, 6/13 (tt), 6/14, 6/15 @ 7:30 PM
Matinee Show Dates: 5/25 (PWYC), 5/26, 6/2*, 6/9, 6/16 @ 2 PM
- Keith Roberts as Froggy Lesueur
- Scott Hernandez as Charlie Baker
- Moira Bengochea as Betty Meeks
- Bradly Howell as Rev. David Marshall Lee
- Anna Pidlypchak as Catherine Sims
- Bob Gabrielli as Owen Musser
- Patrick McCarty as Ellard Simms
Kylie Masznicz is a recent graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, where she studied English with a concentration in writing with a minor in Communication Studies. She writes culture pieces for ThisIsReno, but her work has also been featured on Broadway Baby and Brushfire Literature & Arts Journal. Her goal is to write a novel. She enjoys art of all forms, but chooses to express her own creativity through writing, music, and nail art. She also collects Christmas sweaters and has enough to wear one everyday from Thanksgiving to New Years.