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Theater Review: A Hole In One For Town Players

Published: October 11, 2018 at 07:00 am

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The Town Players of Newtown have hit the golf equivalent of a home run.

The current production of Ken Ludwig’s The Fox on the Fairway is a hole in one! Director Gene Golaszewski has motivated his fine cast into a farcical frenzy with a happy ending. No spoiler alert needed, all farces end on the upswing.

The comedy is silly and well-played by a very talented cast. The result is one belly laugh after another.

Dear, sweet, smitten Justin Hicks (played by Travis Gebing) has just landed a job. He is the new assistant to Quail Valley Country Club manager Henry Bingham (Christopher Bird).

This new position has provided Travis with the income and credentials to propose to his beloved Louise Heindbedder (Amanda Brenner), who is also in the employ of Quail Valley.

Things are tense at the club as the annual golf tourney with a rival country club is getting underway. Henry is desperate to win, as it has been years of loss and humiliation at the hands of Dickie Bell (Peter Haynes), who taunts and wagers with Henry just to goad him.

Dickie’s club boasts a long history of predictable victories and a roster of players who have come to win. Dickie also has a soft spot for Henry’s take-no-nonsense spouse, Murial (Rosemary Howard).

Rounding out this cast of crazy characters is Kimberly Marcus playing Pamela Peabody, the blonde bombshell vice president of Quail Valley. Pamela will do anything — and she means anything — to get her home team into the win column, among other goals.

The earnest and adoring, yet slightly clumsy, young couple played by Travis Gebing and Amanda Brenner are just as sweet and sincere as can be. Ms Brenner is a bundle of anxiety and vulnerability as she navigates her brand-new status as a wife-to-be. She is charming, and her skill is apparent in the very natural performance she gives. Her face offers a broad array of emotions, and coupled with her childlike voice, she is funny and precious all at the same time.

Mr Gebing imbues his character with a naivete and sincerity that is delightful and effective.

Peter Haynes as Dickie Bell is a master of physical comedy, which he adeptly couples with vocal skills that force the audience to keep their eyes trained on him. He is a hoot. His crush, Muriel, played by the always good Rosemary Howard, is tough and relentless.

Unleashing his mad comedy skills in this high-energy romp, Christopher Bird is nothing short of superb. He is a fine actor with a broad array of talent. His portrayal of the foppish, arrogant, and determined Henry Bingham has presented Mr Bird with ample opportunity to put those skills on display.

Ms Marcus nails her role as the vixen on a mission (or two). This actress just gets better and better with each new role. In her hands, Pamela Peabody is irresistible.

The Little Theater has revamped its stage, and the expansion has provided for improved set designs. Gene Golaszewski designed the clubhouse and tap room interior, and it is impressive.

Rosemary Howard designed costumes, which are spot-on and hilarious in the case of her own character.

The Fox on the Fairway is a rollicking good night at the theater. This is a production that is sure to make you laugh out loud for days afterwards. Who doesn’t love that?

Performances continue for just one more weekend. Curtain is Friday and Saturday, October 12-13, at 8 pm.

Tickets are $22 and can be reserved by calling 203-270-9144 or visiting newtownplayers.org.

 

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