Repertory Theater has perfectly timed its latest—and funniest—production of The
Foreigner, which debuted on its stage 33 years ago. Written by
then-Rep actor Larry Shue, the comedy finds itself in the middle of social
and political relevance once again with its direct references to people from
different backgrounds who speak no English and have customs different than
those in the U.S.
You decide. That
is, if you can stop laughing throughout this wacky, spirited romp of a comedy
that director Laura Gordon perfectly distills into classic farce with the help of a talented seven-member
The very proper Brit, Charlie, doesn’t want to
socialize at the Georgia fishing lodge where he’s staying. So
friend Froggie, casts him as “the foreigner” who speaks no
English so he can be left alone during his stay. All
manner of crazy fun ensues as Charlie accidentally overhears personal secrets and gets involved in the
other boarders’ lives. Add in members of the “Christian Hunting Club” (aka the KKK),
aliens from outer space and some good ol' boy nastiness, and the stage is set.
The cast excels from Matt Zambrano’s too-funny portrayal of Charlie to Brendan Meyer as the slow-witted Ellard. In the
tough role of playing straight man to the other actors, Marcus Truschinski is
the perfect foil as the secretly racist reverend as well as Eric Parks as the
backwater bayou bad boy.
died much too young at age 39 in a plane crash. But his well-chosen words,
funny and otherwise, continue to live on. They remind us that it’s important to
laugh, something we all have in common and can share with one another.
Through Dec. 18 in the Quadracci
Powerhouse, 108 E. Wells St. For tickets call 414-224-9490 or visit milwaukeerep.com.