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Players let comic antics fly in 'Fox' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Friday, 28 March 2014 11:13
"Fox on the Fairway" careens out of control from the start.
We have young lovers bounding in and out of doors - what would a Ken Ludwig comedy be without lots of slamming doors and antic entrances? - while the other cast members sauntering on stage to deliver well-worn one-liners about golf, including Mark Twain's classic crack about "a good walk spoiled."
Then the action gets underway.
The Black Swamp Players' staging of "Fox on the Fairway" opens tonight at 8 p.m. at First United Methodist Church,  1506 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green. The show continues with performances Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and continues April  4 and 5 at 8 p.m. and April 6 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 and $10 for students and seniors available at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green.
The plot is a loosely strung clothesline on which to hang all manner of gags, pratfalls and innuendo. Clarity and cohesion are rather beside the point. The goal is to get the audience laughing, if not guffawing, or giggling, or otherwise expressing amusement.
The director, Bob Hastings, in his theatrical swan song, is an old hand at this. After giving up the reins of the Players' annual musical, he set about guiding annual performances of Ludwig comedies. This is his fourth. He has the sure hand that is necessary when directing a show that by design is always on the brink of anarchy.
The play begins with our ditsy lovebirds Justin (Benjamin Forman) and Louise (Hali Malecki) becoming engaged. This happy turn of events is made possible because Ben has just been hired as the assistant to the irascible, overbearing director of the Quail  Valley Country Club Henry Bingham (Lane Hakel).
Ben's joining the club as a critical time. The annual tournament between the country club and its rival club Crouching Squirrel is about to begin.
Crouching Squirrel has a long string of victories in the event, and Bingham is feeling the heat, both from his board of directors represented by the lascivious Pamela Peabody (Sara Swisher) and his rival club director Dickie Bell (Kent McClary).
Waiting in the wings is the domineering Mrs. Bingham played by Peggy Keyes in a helmet-like white wig and significant padding and an imperious attitude to match.
Like Hastings, McClary and Hakel know how to handle this kind of foolishness. They revel in their parts.
McClary's Bell is a crackling blowhard who loves the sound of his own laughter. He mangles aphorisms - "the early worm" gets something, not "the early bird gets the worm,"  and when called on it, has elaborate justifications about why he is indeed right. He's always right, and his team always wins.
That doesn't stop Bingham from entering into an exorbitant bet with him that includes a ton of cash and his wife's antique shop.
Hakel's Bingham is almost bursting with frustration. He's always on the verge of exploding. Then he realizes that Ben, so unpromising on the surface, actually is an excellent golfer, as long as nothing upsets him.
There's your plot... trying to keep Ben cool, and failing at that, letting hilarity ensue until everything is tied up in the improbable happy ending.
Anyone near attentive, especially if they've seen other Ludwig comedies, will spot the plot turns early on. Not that it matters. They'll be too busy laughing to care.
Last Updated on Monday, 09 June 2014 15:29

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