Sunday, April 28, 2013

If laughs are birdies, 'Fox on Fairway' gets plenty

If laughs are birdies, 'Fox on Fairway' gets plenty

Kathleen Allen Arizona Daily Star

There's no way around it: Golf is funny.

The concept - hit a little ball with a skinny stick and try to get it into a tiny hole far, far away - is just plain ludicrous. And do this while not hitting the ball into sand traps, water hazards and your fellow golfers? Please. And then there's the clothing: bold plaids and loud colors are preferable.

So it's no wonder that playwright Ken Ludwig opted to use the sport as the basis for his comedy "Fox on the Fairway," which Invisible Theatre opened Wednesday.
Director Susan Claassen knows her comedy and she shaped a play that was easy with the laughs and polished enough to gloss over the script's rough spots.

She had a cast that helped immensely.



By Chuck Graham,

“Stop making sense,” David Byrne so famously said, “And go see ‘The Fox on the Fairway’ at Invisible theatre.”

Well, no, he didn’t say that last part. But it is still excellent advice. A cast of wild and wacky actors led by director Susan Claassen have unleashed one of the most enthusiastically uninhibited productions this company’s stage has seen in quite a while.

Making sense is never required. In fact the less you think about the logic in this comedy of bad bets, broken hearts and tacky fashions, the better.

Ever wonder what it would look like if a very proper lady accidentally let a raw oyster slip down the front of her dress? You won’t be wondering any longer.

Ken Ludwig (“Lend Me A Tenor,” “Moon Over Buffalo”) is the playwright here, with farce on his mind and garishly garbed golfers in his gun sights. Ludwig himself says “farce, essentially, is broad comedy.”

If this “Fox” was played any more broadly, you’d have to be adjusting the horizontal hold on your reality.

In a cast of equals, Lucille Petty is a bit more equal in using the manic pace to get her laughs while boosting her portrayal of frustrated young love in the Tap Room of the Quail Valley Country Club.

She plays the innocent Louise, an employee at the club, in love with Justin (RD Mower), her well-meaning swain forever misunderstood by Mr. Bingham (William Hubbard), the impeccably dressed country club boss.

Mower, who graduates from the University of Arizona theater school next month, makes his IT debut this month looking like he can anticipate a fine career in show business.

Bingham is the propriety-obsessed straight man to Dickie (Jack Neubeck) the millionaire-without-a-clue so proud of his ludicrous golf sweaters and exuberantly clashing pants. Being sensitive to the feelings of others isn’t high on Dickie’s list of things to do, either.

The plot is so totally irrelevant to the pleasure of watching all this overbearing hubris get turned into shaved ham, it is scarcely worth describing. But there are professional requirements.

So Dickie goads Bingham into betting $200,000 plus Bingham’s wife’s antique shop that Dickie’s country club team can beat the Quail Valley team in the annual golf tournament (which Quail Valley traditionally loses).

In to add their complications are Pamela (Lori Hunt) the free-living manhunter who never got over her teen crush on Bingham, and Muriel (Victoria McGee), Hubbard’s harridan wife who harbors a few secrets of her own.

You needn’t know anything about golf to get the jokes. Their conversation provides all the necessary information. The game itself, with first one side than the other out in front, takes place off stage with an announcer giving us the play-by-play.

“The Fox on the Fairway” continues through May 12 at Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave., with performances at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $28, group discounts available. For details and reservations, 882-9721,

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Invisible Theatre opens 'The Fox on Fairway,' a wry shot at golf

Invisible Theatre opens 'The Fox on Fairway,' a wry shot at golf:

Kathleen Allen, Arizona Daily Star

Ken Ludwig knows from funny.
His plays, such as "Lend Me a Tenor" and "Moon Over Buffalo," have kept audiences chuckling across the country and around the world. ...
Ludwig's "The Fox on the Fairway" opens at Invisible Theatre next week.
It's an over-the-top look at the game and the people who play it.