Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Things To Do

March 6, 2014

REVIEW: An evening of laughter awaits with 'The Foreigner'

CROSSVILLE — As director of The Foreigner, Weslie Webster has assembled a cast guaranteed to have the audience is gales of laughter.

Michael Ruff brings us Staff Sergeant “Froggy” LeSueur, with a fine French accent and a determination to bring his despondent friend Charlie to the most relaxing place he knows. We meet Jason Ross, as Charlie, limp and expressionless. His every movement reveals the sense of intense guilt that burdens him. Charlie has left his dying wife in the hospital. He knows she has found him boring. Her boredom with him is the reason she has had 22 affairs. He is dull. As a professional proofreader, he has been protected from relating to people. He is terrified of talking. The audience waits expectantly for the Jason Ross we know and love to emerge.

Froggy has a brilliant idea thanks to writer Larry Shue, Charlie will be saved from conversation by appearing to have no comprehension of English. Ross will be a foreigner speaking always in an incomprehensible tongue. He will demonstrate amazing listening skills. The plot is established. The hilarity begins. 

Carol Irvin as Betty Meeks is owner and operator of the rustic resort in which all the action takes place. She claims to be slowing down. Neither Betty nor Irvin show any signs of that. In fact, Carol Irvin seems to have left years of her life off stage. She is ready and eager to provide a haven for Charlie. Trusting her voice to cut through his lack of comprehension of English, Betty constantly screams at Charlie. Despite his terrified eyes as she yells at him, Betty assures us she and Charlie have a  special kind of “extra-circular communication.”

Bobby Taylor brings Owen Musser, the inspector to the stage. This “good ole boy” has no patience with The Foreigner or anything else that will get in the way of his plan to make big money. Eager to have the place condemned, he loudly proclaims it no longer fit for habitation. Taylor seems the incarnation of evil as he torments Charlie.

It is not often we see  Britt Hancock as a villain. He becomes the smooth and devious Rev. David Marshall Lee who cannot be trusted. His goal is to be in control of the fortune his “beloved” Catherine Simms is set to inherit. Lauren Marshall brings us Catherine, a combination of innocence and toughness. She is not ready to be a preacher's wife and a mother. She wants to trust her fiancé but she is troubled. She has no one in whom she can confide. That is, until she meets Charlie. Charlie, assumed to be unable to understand English, has been privy to all the conversations flowing around him. As a skilled listener, he understands. After all, no one has been careful what they say in the presence of The Foreigner. “He cannot understand a word we say,” they agree. As always, Ross, in the role of Charlie, brings the epitome of amazing facial expressions and physical gyrations.

Daniel Black has the outstanding ability to play a full range of characters, from the father of the family in Smoke on the Mountain to Ellerd Simms. This younger brother of Catherine is destined to be left out of the family inheritance due to his intellectual challenges. Black plays Ellerd as not understanding the good Reverend's efforts to prove him just plain stupid. Black is hilarious as he takes on the task of teaching English to Charlie. Ross and Black have worked together at the Playhouse since 1996. This production gives them one of their best opportunities to play off one another to the delight of the audience.

Black plays Ellerd as fascinated by The Foreigner. Whether each one is balancing a glass on his head, or The Foreigner learning the names of household objects or items brought in from outside by the dedicated Ellerd, this teacher-student pair brings peals of laughter from the audience. Black/Ellerd sits at the feet of Charlie/Ross with hilarious dedication to every unintelligible word spoken.  

Yes, the Playhouse has done this show before. The opportunity for an evening of laughter that awaits you should not be missed. Rated G, the child in all of us will enjoy it. The Foreigner runs through April 25 on the mainstage. Do call 484-5000 for your tickets. You will be glad you did.      

Text Only
Things To Do
  • front page news.jpg "Front Page News" held over in Dayton

    Cumberland County Playhouse and its producing partner The Scopes Festival in Dayton, TN, have added three more performances of "Front Page News," the newly adapted, historically accurate play with music, currently being staged in the historic “monkey trial” courtroom in Dayton’s Rhea County Courthouse.  Additional shows of the new work are Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., and the final show Sunday at 2:30 p.m. All times are EDT.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • granville.jpg Scarcrow Walk set Oct. 4-31 in Granville

    The Second Annual Granville Scarecrow Walk will be in Historic Granville on Oct. 4 through Oct. 31.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conlee Color HI.jpg Conlee to perform at Palace

    John Conlee is a lot like the songs of which he sings. He lives a domestic life with his wife Gale and three children, Rebecca, Jessica and Johnny. During the past two decades, Conlee has achieved a level of success that he has sustained by simply being himself and by making records that the listening public can relate to. He is a gifted entertainer, but he’s not into the glitz and hype of the entertainment world. He’d rather spend his “off the road” time working on his 32 acre farm outside of Nashville or engaging in his woodworking and gunsmithing hobbies.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • City Lites.jpg 'Friday Night Air' features City Lites

    The “Friday Night Air” summer concert series continues Friday at the Spirit Broadband amphitheater in downtown Crossville with the City Lites Band. They are a very popular four-piece band from Crossville that has performed throughout Tennessee and the Southeast for more than three decades. Their lineup features Marty Gibson on guitar and vocals, Flavy Miller on bass and vocals, Glenn Holverson on saxophones and Wade England on drums. The song list includes a wide variety of musical styles from swing, country, '50’s and '60’s, rock and more. Something for everyone to enjoy! The performance is free to the public and begins at 6 p.m. and is sponsored by the Historic Palace Theatre and the city of Crossville.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gypsy, Front Page News open this weekend

    They're gearing up for a very exciting week both at the Cumberland County Playhouse and at the Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton!

    July 17, 2014

  • LexVinDance260_2.jpg Vintage Dance Society opens PAART season

    The Performing Arts Alliance of Rural Tennessee (PAART) is pleased to announce the first event in it’s 2014-15 season: the Lexington Vintage Dance Society will perform "Downton Abbey Era: The Titanic to the Jazz Age" in period costumes. This performance will take place Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Palace Theatre in Crossville.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • gypsy hombres.jpg Gypsy Hombres take stage Sunday

    For years, there has been a persistent legend in Nashville about a crazy gypsy ‘Fiddler on the Roof” who dances as he plays the violin on the roof of his Victorian house. Cumberland County Playhouse will prove the legend is 100 percent true as The Gypsy Hombres take the stage Sunday.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'Gypsy' opens July 18 at CCP

    Beginning July 18, everything’s coming up roses as the Playhouse brings one of the greatest American musicals of all time to life… “Gypsy”! From the unforgettable first notes of its legendary overture to the final white hot spotlight, “Gypsy” is considered by many to be “the best musical ever,” as it tells the story of the archetypal stage mother, Rose, and her daughters, June and Louise.

    July 10, 2014

  • wildman.jpg ‘Wild Man’ takes Palace stage Aug. 23

    Look out, Crossville, here comes the coolest guy in town and his name is Rafael R. Soriano, also known by fans everywhere as “Wild Man,” but he calls himself “Wild Man Billy Ralph!”

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • KOTR Steven Whitson Picture.jpg 'An Evening with Steven Whitson' to benefit Kids on the Rise

    ds on the Rise will be hosting a fund-raising concert Aug. 2 at the Palace Theatre. The local non-profit agency will present An Evening with Steven Whitson.

    July 2, 2014 2 Photos

AP and the Gulf Oil Spill
AP Video
Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide