Keith Dougherty’s Review of The Fox on the Fairway

July 7, 2019

Creative Theatre – Muddy Water Players

The Playhouse at Museum Village

     Inspired by some of the wonderful British farces of the last century, The Fox on the Fairway is a comedy by Ken Ludwig that premiered at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia in October of 2010. Being quite familiar with Ludwig’s work, yet not familiar with, or a fan of, golf, I wasn’t sure what my afternoon at the wonderful Playhouse at Museum Village had in store for me. Any concerns were quickly laid to rest as we were immediately introduced to colorful characters, played by competent actors. I have to say that I missed the actual slamming of doors typically present in a true Ludwig farce, but what wasn’t missing was the obvious dedication, hard work and talent that makes a Ludwig script work.

I never like to give too much away, regarding the plot, in my reviews, but in a nutshell: Lights up on the Quail Valley Country Club, a snooty establishment where everything is served with a major dose of golf. Mr. Bingham (Mark Von Oesen), the overbearing, and tightly wound, club president, finds out that his newly hired young assistant, Justin (Joe Fox), is in love with Louise (Christina Polichetti), a waitress who also works at Quail Valley. It is the weekend of the big, annual golf tournament and Bingham ends up betting his arch enemy, Richard (Gerard Weiss), the arrogant, and brightly dressed, director of rival Crouching Squirrel Golf Club, a very hefty sum, and then some, that Quail Valley will win this year.

Unbeknownst to Bingham, Richard has pilfered his prize player and an immediate replacement is necessary. Bingham soon finds out that his new, young assistant is a top notch golfer and convinces him to step in. Needless to say, the process does not go smoothly, and hilarity ensues in several sub-plots, as we are introduced to the jaded club treasurer, Pamela (Anne David), and Bingham’s cantankerous wife, Muriel (Karyn Meier.)

However far-fetched, The Fox on the Fairway is a very funny take on the odd subject of golf, love, and relationships in many forms. This talented cast pulls it off with sufficient charisma and plenty of humor. As the young couple, Joe Fox and Christina Polichetti are engaging. Their chemistry is obvious, as was the work put into their roles. With a bit more experience and seasoning, these two actors will be ones to watch. In the larger than life role of Richard, Gerard Weiss capably gave us the character you love to hate. As Pamela, Anne David adeptly and comically portrayed a woman who knew her way around men, and a bottle. She was a lot of fun to watch.

Mark Von Oesen was a definite stand-out in this production, with his booming voice and wonderful comic timing. He had terrific chemistry with every character, and his facial expressions needed no dialogue to render a laugh. Another stand out was Karyn Meier as Muriel. This marvelous actress blew me away last year in The Muddy Waters Players’ production of Veronica’s Room. In searching for a word to best describe her, Muriel, I came up with “more” because that’s what I wanted.

Congratulations must also go out to the production staff. Director, Terri Weiss, ably commanded the cast in what was often a moving puzzle that added much laughter to the story. Taking on double duty as set designer, Weiss and her able-bodied crew gave us a marvelous set with some very special details, and Cynthia Topps was spot on with the costumes. Lighting Design by Bruce Roman completed the very believable picture.

Creative Theatre – Muddy Water Players production of The Fox on the Fairway will continue its run through Sunday, July 21. Tickets are available at the box office (845) 294-9465 or go to AtThePlayhouse.org

 

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