Review: Red Deer theatre company’s Fox on the Fairway hits a monster drive

Fox on the Fairway has what every farce needs

BY LANA MICHELIN

ADVOCATE STAFF

Central Alberta Theatre easily hits a hole-in-one with its season-launching farce, Fox on the Fairway.

From its opening quote — “Golf is nothing but a good walk, spoiled,” by Mark Twain — to quirky characters portrayed with great comic timing by a stand-out cast, this is a winning production.

It undoubtedly helps that CAT is back doing dinner theatres at the Black Knight Inn, where the play opened Friday night with good sight lines to the stage in the newly renovated dinner theatre space.

Also, it sure doesn’t hurt that the Ken Ludwig script hangs on a hilariously breezy, sometimes cheesy, Three’s Company-style plot line.

You have your hand-wringing worrier, only instead of Three’s Company’s Mr. Farley, it’s Quail Valley Golf and Country Club president Henry Bingham (played as an endearing curmudgeon by Craig Scott).

Bingham’s so eager to break his club’s losing streak that he makes a ridiculously big bet on the outcome of an inter-club golf tournament with his braggart nemesis, Dickie Bell. Slickly played by Jason Lee (think: Jack Tripper’s swinging singles friend Larry), Dickie is the president of the Crouching Squirrel Golf and Racquetball Club — and a sleaze, who hires away Bingham’s ace golfer.

Add to this dysfunctional duo a ditsy Quail Valley waitress named Louise (Sarah Spicer); a pratfalling man-child new hire, Justin Hicks (Connor Lee); and a sexy voice-of-reason, the club’s vice-president, Pamela Peabody (Tara Rorke); and you get nearly the whole comic picture.

But Fox on the Fairway wouldn’t be complete without Rina Pelletier’s formidable performance as Henry’s larger-than-life wife, Muriel Bingham. The battle-axe antique shop owner generates a ton of laughs, even when she’s not on stage — whether through Henry’s wry musings about his ball-buster spouse, or during phone calls in which Muriel’s disembodied voice sounds suspiciously similar to the fog-horn teacher from the Peanuts specials.

Of course, Muriel’s Three’s Company alter-ego is Mrs. Roper.

All of the cast members under the confident leadership of director Alexandra Taylor, are terrific. They understand how to handle the physical comedy and wring laughs out of even the more hackneyed jokes.

The most hilarious scene is towards the end of the first act when Louise and her fiance, Justin, are both crying — make that capital-B-bawling — over a lost engagement ring, while an agape Pamela looks on in stunned disbelief at these two plus-sized toddlers.

Fox on the Fairway has what every farce needs — over-the-top performances, crazy coincidences, and most of all, a cast that knows how to deliver a punch line. Anyone who could use some silly yuks should see it.

The show runs to Nov. 12.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

The RDC Queens picked up an extra special victory on home ice… Continue reading

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

‘Stupid’ law preventing Canada’s re-engagement with Iran: retired envoy

OTTAWA — The real reason the Liberal government hasn’t been able to… Continue reading

Voters head to polls for BC municipal elections today

VANCOUVER — Voters in British Columbia will head to the polls today… Continue reading

All sharks tagged in N.S. expedition can now be tracked on Ocearch website

HALIFAX — All six of the sharks tagged in Nova Scotian waters… Continue reading

Memorial service for former PQ minister Lise Payette today in Montreal

MONTREAL — Mourners will gather to remember former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister… Continue reading

Immunotherapy scores a first win against some breast cancers

For the first time, one of the new immunotherapy drugs has shown… Continue reading

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Most Read