Central Alberta Theatre is gearing up for their first dinner theatre production of the season – Ken Ludwig’s The Fox on the Fairway.
Directed by Alex Taylor, the show runs Oct. 28th through to Nov. 12th at the Black Knight Inn, with dinner starting at 6 p.m. The cast includes Tara Rorke, Sarah Spicer, Jason Lee, Conner Lee, Craig Scott and Rina Pelletier.
As the synopsis points out, Fox on the Fairway takes audiences on a hilarious romp, which pulls the rug out from underneath the stuffy denizens of a private country club.
“Filled with mistaken identities, slamming doors, and over-the-top romantic shenanigans, it’s a furiously paced comedy that recalls the Marx Brothers classics. A charmingly madcap adventure about love, life and man’s eternal love affair, with golf. No matter whether you love golf or not, The Fox on the Fairway will tickle your funny bones and keep you laughing after you leave this delightful farce.”
Henry Bingham, president of the Quail Valley Country Club, is in a tough position.
“Not by finding out that his newly hired hand, Justin, is in love with Louise, the waitress at the club house, but by the discovery that the golfer he thought would play for his club has switched sides recruited by his counterpart and opponent, the cocky and arrogant Dickie, and the huge bet he had foolishly wagered is now likely to be lost,” according to Wikipedia.
Fortunately, he discovers that Justin is quite a good golfer and finagles his nomination. Justin does not disappoint and has a huge lead, when close to its end the tournament is interrupted by bad weather.
“When Justin learns that Louise has lost the engagement ring he gave her, he comes unglued,” continues the synopsis.
The game resumes the next day, but Justin loses the lead.
Can Bingham find a replacement for Justin to win the game, win a wager he’s entered into and ultimately get his life in order?
As Taylor points out, there is all kinds of situations bubbling up as the story unfolds. And that’s precisely where the fun continually surfaces from – that irresistible kind of mayhem.
“It’s just one thing after another.”
Meanwhile, Taylor has significant experience with CAT – having stage managed Wrong Turn at Lungfish awhile back, she also acted in Wild Dust just last season. She also stage managed Evelyn Strange last season as well.
“I really liked the script – I giggled my way through it,” she explains of The Fox on the Fairway.
“It’s very funny, but there’s a lot of very poignant moments in it, too.
“There are a few things you find out through the course of the play that just make you think, ‘Oh, that’s not something that I would have expected to see in this play’,” she explained. “It’s also a very snappy play – it’s very back and forth, bouncy and quick-paced.
“You get a lot of information out at one time – but it’s not an overwhelming amount. It’s very well-written. I think it can appeal to everybody in some way,” she said, adding that Ludwig wrote the play as an homage to shows of earlier eras.
Really, it’s a clever, compelling blend of crisp, dry humour that’s also charged with a nice, energetic clip.
It’s also fantastic to see such strong female characters, too – and that’s not to say that the men’s roles are any more diminished by that, but there are a lot of really great, individually strong characters in this play. And we have a fantastic cast.”
Ultimately, Taylor has really enjoyed her stint as director, pointing out the collaborative aspects of that role are particularly fulfilling.
“Theatre in general, for me, is a very collaborative process,” she said. “You are creating a visually dynamic product for the audience and everybody has input on that.” Watching how a play evolves is also a wonderful thing. “You get to see how people settle into their characters.
“Every project also has its obstacles that you have to go through, but because we’ve had such a fantastic group of people – from the production team to the actors to everybody at CAT who lend such support and offer a hand wherever needed, we’ve never had a bad rehearsal. The only goal I set out with is that everybody needs to be comfortable, and my main focus is that everybody needs to have fun.”
Some rehearsals have had more laughing than rehearsing, she adds with a chuckle.
“If you really build that collaboration with your actors, and you build them up as a team, then that translates.”
For ticket information, check out www.blackknightinn.ca.