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Must see theater: The Foreigner

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I’m usually pretty enthusiastic about the theater productions I see. Since I’ve worked behind the scenes, I know how much effort goes into each play. I’m completely smitten with the current Black Box theater production of “The Foreigner.” I’ve seen this play before, but this production reaches another level of excellence. “The Foreigner” runs through Nov. 18 so there’s still plenty of time to see it. Playwright Larry Shue’s brilliant script lends itself to delightful interpretation by the actors and director Geoffrey Kent. The cast includes: Zachary Andrews (Rev. David Marshall Lee), Sammie Joe Kinnett (Charlie Baker), Lance Rasmussen (Ellard Simms), Jessica Robblee (Catherine Simms), Josh Robinson (S/Sgt. “Froggy” LeSueur), Greg Ungar (Owen Musser), and Edith Weiss (Betty Meeks).

British demolitions expert “Froggy” LeSueur, brings his friend Charlie Baker with him to spend a few days at a fishing lodge owned by his old friend the widowed Betty Meeks. Charlie is distraught because his wife whom he left back in England is very ill and not expected to live. Charlie bemoans the fact that he has no personality and no friends. Also staying at the lodge are Rev. David Lee and his betrothed, Catherine Simms and her brother Ellard. Ellard is a bit mentally slow but is always well intentioned.

Charlie, who is painfully shy and doesn’t want to talk to any of the other guests, pleads with “Froggy” to figure out a way that he doesn’t have to speak to the others in the lodge. “Froggy” convinces Betty and the other guests that Charlie doesn’t speak English and that they must never speak to him because he’s so shy. Betty is also distraught because she’s not making any money on the fishing lodge and is afraid she won’t be able to keep it. It becomes apparent that Owen Musser, a militant member of the Ku Klux Klan, and the Rev. Lee are in cahoots and want to basically steal the lodge from Betty. Catherine and Ellard are going to inherit a great deal of money and Rev. Lee wants her to give it to him so he can “buy” the lodge. The acting, directing, and all technical aspects of the lively play are sublime.

There are so many subtleties in the dialogue that it’s impossible not to smile and even laugh out loud throughout the evening. The twists and turns in the action lend many elements of delightful surprise. For tickets and information, call 720-898-7200 or visit the website at arvadacenter.org. I must say “The Foreigner” is one of my all-time favorite Arvada Center productions. Do yourselves a favor and do not miss this one.

Next up for the venerable Arvada Center Theater season, is “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat playing in the Main Stage Theatre Nov. 17th-Dec. 23.

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