Gutsy direction and a diligent cast bring help bring Larry Shue’s “The Foreigner” to life at the Finley Theatre. The play debuted in the early 80s, yet still resonates with some of today’s hot button issues, such as racism and xenophobia. Shue’s play offers comic relief and Del Mar Drama did not disappoint. Under the direction, of Kim Frederick, The Foreigner delivered laughs, shocks, and a quick language lesson.
The play takes place in rural Georgia, Sgt. “Froggy” LeSeur played by Leo Lugo is helping his shy, anxiety ridden friend, Charlie Baker played by Marcus Garcia take a reprieve in a Georgia backwoods lodge resort, from his ailing unfaithful wife’s hospital stay. Since Charlie is shy and gets nervous talking to people, Froggy suggests that Baker be a foreigner who does not speak English in order to avoid speaking to people at the lodge. Charlie is met with a cast of characters, the lodge owner, Betty Meeks, played by Mariah Massengill. The Simm sisters, Ellie played by Emily Sanchez, her older sister Catherine played by Angela Torres, Catherine’s finance, Rev. David Marshall Lee played by Cordell Lovette and local troublemaker Owen Musser, played by Jacob Miller. Charlie keeps up with the illusion and ends up hearing more than his ear can comprehend. Shady deals, dark scandals are just the beginning.
Garcia is a strong lead, complete with facial features, nervous inflections, and comedic timing. In the opening scene, accents were a little hard to come by, however by the second act the crowd was roaring with laughter. Mariah Massengill gave a strong comedic performance as Betty Meeks the lodge owner. Angela Torres owned the role of the confused, yet bossy debutante, Catherine Simms. Emily Sanchez wore many hats that night, from production crew, costume assistant, makeup and hair artist, however her star shined the most as the dim witted Ellie Simms, the role was originally written for a male actor.
The Reverend David Marshall Lee played by Cordell Lovette displayed versatility throughout the play. Jacob Miller played the town troublemaker, Owen Musser, stirred up the crowd with his off the wall comments and mindless actions.
“ We decided to go with this play, right after Charlottesville” said director Kim Frederick. “The play was popular in the 80s, funny how society still deals with the same issues today.”
“The Foreigner” ran from October 27 – November 4, with makeup performances after opening night was postponed due to a power outage in the Fine Arts building.