“I could not help myself, I had to laugh out loud several times during the performance.”
You know how it is when something just strikes you as so funny you have to laugh out loud, you just can’t help yourself? Well, that’s the treat WPPAC’s (White Plains Performing Arts Center) production of Ken Ludwig’s “The Fox on the Fairway” is offering audiences live on stage until June 1.
Produced by WPPAC’s producing artistic director Jeremy Quinn, “The Fox on the Fairway” is a farce written in homage to the English farce tradition that began in the 1880’s and then flowered in the 1970’s.
According to a piece written by Ken Ludwig in 2011, a farce is a broad comedy where the emphasis is on the story and the plotting rather than on the emotional journey of the characters. It typically has a broad physical, knockabout quality and is filled with recognizable characters who find themselves in precarious situations
This is true of Fox on the Fairway as the story takes audiences on a hilarious romp that pulls the rug out from underneath the stuffy denizens of a private country club. Filled with mistaken identities, slamming doors, and over-the-top romantic shenanigans, it’s a furiously paced comedy that recalls the Marx Brothers’ classics.
The setting is the Tap Room of Quail Valley Country Club, this year, as Bingham, played by Jorge Acosta, Quail Valley’s club manager places a major bet on the outcome of a golf tournament with Dickie, played by Cordell Stahl, from the competitive club Crouching Squirrel.
Dickie, plays the very believable role of the wannabe business mogul who’s constantly trying to pull a fast one over on his opponent, yet his outlandish outfits make you wonder what ever could he be thinking.
In a turnabout that has Quail Valley’s top player now on the opponent’s team, Bingham is forced to ask his new employee Justin, played by Nick Piacente, to step up and represent the club.
As Justin, Piacente’s crazy tomfoolery on stage keeps you laughing – it’s so naturally done that while you know you’re watching a farce, you can’t help but become somewhat engaged with the characters and their respective relationships.
Justin’s love interest, Louise, played by Susan Slotoroff, is a well-matched portrayal of a giggly young woman who has discovered she’s in love.
On the more seductive side, Pamela, Bingham’s assistant played by Amanda Renee Baker interacts well with each of the characters to keep the story line going. And Muriel, Bingham’s wife, played by Marianne Matthews presents an all too real, yet hilarious portrayal of a demanding and unfulfilled woman.
The entire play is acted out on one set, yet you feel like you have actually visited a golf club where a two-day tournament has taken place complete with stormy weather, the onset of evening and a broadcast game announcer.
As one can expect of a production by Jeremy Quinn and his associates, “The Fox on the Fairway” is well worth a visit to WPPAC. Take some friends with you because you’re going to want to continue the party once the show is over.
Remaining performances are May 22 to 25 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m.) May 29 to June 1 (Thursday at 2 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m.) $35 adults; $25 for students high school and younger.
All performances are at the White Plains theatre, located on the third level of City Center off Mamaroneck Avenue in downtown White Plains.
To purchase tickets: visit the theatre box office, purchase the tickets online at wppac.com or call 914-328-1600. For Group Sales call 914-328-1600.