The Hill Players last night premiered an outstanding performance of Larry Shue's play The Foreigner. Set in a lodge in a small town in Georgia, The Foreigner describes the resurgence of optimism among a group of troubled people. The play opens as two Englishmen -- "Froggy" LeSueur, played by College junior Michael Pomerantz, and Charlie Baker, played by College freshman Jonathan Pitt -- arrive at the lodge. Froggy is a soldier who mesmerizes lodge owner Betty Meeks with his trivial experiences. Betty, played by College junior Ann Elliot, is the classic small-town lodge owner, but she is depressed with her provincial life. Froggy enjoys the attention he gets from her and wows her with tales of his "exotic" travels, demonstrating his adventures by showing her a spoon marked "made in Taiwan." Froggy fibs by telling Betty that his friend Charlie cannot speak English because Charlie fears conversing. He just wants to relax. Pitt gives an utterly enjoyable performance as the frightened Charlie. Since Charlie cannot speak English, the Georgians consider him to be an exotic foreigner. Betty finds excitement in the foreigner. Elliott could break your heart with her performance as the sweet Betty. Believing that Charlie cannot speak English, Betty and others discuss their private thoughts in front of him. With what he hears, Charlie is able to solve their problems while simultaneously gaining confidence in himself. He pretends that he has learned English from the retarded teenager Ellard, who is played by College sophomore and Daily Pensylvanian staff artist David Lavine. Meanwhile, Charlie learns the diabolical duo of Reverend David Marshall Lee and politician Owen Musser are plotting to take Betty's lodge and make it a Ku Klux Klan headquarters. Since Charlie has brought the trouble to them, he is faced with the responsibility of whether to take action. However, Charlie rises to the occasion, proving his bravery by defending the people that he endangered. He then decides to move to Gergia to be with his new friends. All of the actors gave first-rate performances. Pitt used great body language to express the thoughts of a man who is not supposed to be able to speak English. David Lavine's Ellard has the personality of a child playing in a sandbox while at the same being intelligent. College senior Elizabeth Redkey gives a wonderfully warm portrayal of Rev. Lee's fiancee Catherine. The Foreigner is a completely entertaining play that everyone should see. The final scene was slightly too melodramatic, but it detracted only slightly from thouroughly enjoyable play. Two more performances of the play, directed by Katie Goodman, are scheduled for tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m. in the Houston Hall Auditorium.Comments powered by Disqus
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