A Hilarious Farce At Gulfshore Playhouse
You’ve heard me say several times that farce is not my favorite genre, but “A Fox On The Fairway” at Gulfshore Playhouse, found me eating those words. It was a very funny, physical comedy, directed by Matt Lenz, with an outstanding cast.
Written by Ken Ludwig, the play takes the audience on a hilarious romp which pulls the rug out from underneath the stuffy denizens of a private country club. The play takes place in the Tap Room of the Quail Valley Country Club (terrific set in pastel shades). The time is now. It’s filled with mistaken identities, slamming doors, and over-the-top romantic shenanigans.
“The Fox On The Fairway” spins around a golf tournament between two rivals. James Judy, affably portrays Henry Bingham, the manager of the Quail Valley Country Club, which is locked in a heated rivalry with a country club headed by the irritating Dickie (Eric Hoffmann) who makes a huge personal bet with Bingham over the tournament that is about to tee off.
The somewhat venomous Dickie, who, when not cheating with women or golf, is constantly misusing popular expressions e.g. “You can’t make straw without bricks,” “When the swans fly home from Cappuccino”, and “A bird on the wing is worth two in the air.” Throughout the play he sports the most outlandish golf-themed sweaters, gifts from a secret admirer. His lime green suit is equally outlandish.
The young man whom Bingham shadily brings into the tournament to save the day is Justin (Chris Dwan), a terrific golfer who tends to fall apart whenever bad news strikes. All goes well until the 17th hole. During a rain delay, Justin’s flighty club bar maid fiancee, Louise (Jenny Strassburg) breaks their engagement, which wrecks his game.
The second act sees Bingham and Pamela (Carol Halstead), a loyal Quail Valley booster with a racy personal life, desperately trying to reunite the lovers. Pamela has been married several times and her favorite sport is drinking. In regard to that she says ‘I could never hold my liquor, 2 or 3 bottles and I start to feel it.”
Adding to the hilarity is Michele Tauber as Muriel Bingham, owner of an antique shop named “The Old Crock”, that ends up as a hostage in the bet between the two men. Tauber moves about the stage like a Sherman tank on a rampage.
“A Fox On The Fairway” is a broad, clever farce, tightly directed, beautifully performed and loaded with laughs. It plays through March 22, at Gulfshore Playhouse, in the Norris Center, 755 8th Avenue South in Naples. For tickets call 1-866-811-4111.