APT promises Ken Ludwig’s madcap farce full of laughter

APT promises Ken Ludwig’s madcap farce full of laughter
BECCA MARTIN-BROWN
bmartin@nwadg.com


“I hope audiences laugh so much that they leave the show feeling 10 pounds lighter,” says Juliette Robinson.

“I hope they laugh at us and in doing so laugh at themselves and our human condition,” agrees John Jefferson. “Isn’t everyone’s life a bit of a farce?”

“There’s no deep ‘message’ the audience is going to take away from this show, but it’s a fast-paced comedy that will get you laughing and keep you laughing,” adds Andria Lickfelt. “I love farces. They’re silly and fun, and just what we need after the past few years. Hopefully audiences will enjoy a nice little escape from life’s troubles. We all need that!”

The three veterans of the Arkansas Public Theatre stage are part of the cast of “The Fox on the Fairway,” a Ken Ludwig comedy in the tradition of “Lend Me a Tenor” and “Moon Over Buffalo.” In the “madcap adventure about love, life, and man’s eternal love affair with golf” — which debuted in 2010 and opens on the APT stage Oct. 29 — the story unfolds on the day Quail Valley Country Club faces its oldest rival, nearby Crouching Squirrel Golf and Racquet Club, in the golf tournament of the decade.

According to the plot, “battle lines are drawn when the two clubs, like Greece and Troy, assemble their bravest heroes and play on to the final, madcap putt on an 18th hole that is the stuff of legend.”

“I love Ken Ludwig,” says Brenda Nemec when asked why she wanted to direct this show. However, she adds, it’s the people — “the cast, the crew, the staff, the audience” — that make her want to come to rehearsal after a long day at work. And “it is so rewarding to see the response of the audience each night and to hear the applause for these great actors!”

Erik Newton of Bentonville is new to APT in the role of Justin Hicks, one of the pivotal characters in the comedy. “He’s a very nervous person, and I love performing as him — mostly because I never have to worry if the audience notices I’m nervous,” Newton says with a laugh. A recent college graduate with a degree in computer science, Newton says he wants to pursue acting professionally and came to APT because of its professional atmosphere.

APT veteran Michael Weir reminds that he was in the recent production of “A Comedy of Tenors” at APT, “and it was a lot of fun, so I immediately knew I wanted to be in this show when it was announced,” he says.

“In this show, I play Dickie Bell, the director of the rival country club competing in the golf tournament. He is loud and obnoxious. He thinks he’s clever, but he’s not. In other words, he’s a jerk — which makes him a really fun character to play.”

“I wanted to do this show because from experience I know that Ken Ludwig shows are funny and fast-tempo, and after the last two years we’ve all had, laughing sounded good,” says Robinson, who first appeared on the APT stage in “A Comedy of Tenors.” “My character is Louise Heindbedder, a waitress at Quail Valley Country Club. She is dating Justin Hicks. Louise is very sweet and a bit empty headed, but she means well.

“My favorite moment in the show so far is when Louise grabs a very expensive and rare vase and leads a wild chase on and off set,” Robinson adds. “Also, the final curtain call, when an encore of the show is performed in 90 seconds. That part is hard to get right, but hilarious when done correctly!”

Alix Keil Barrett, who debuted at APT in “Cabaret” and was Mary in “Jesus Christ Superstar” in addition to choreographing many APT musicals, says “The Fox on the Fairway” is her first “straight” — non-musical — play on the Rogers stage. Her favorite moment of the show so far? When an oyster falls down the dress of her “wealthy, sophisticated” character.

“I just hope audiences come and have a good time,” Barrett concludes. “It is a fun, silly show that should bring loads of laughter and a nice reprieve from everyday life.”

__

FAQ

‘The Fox On The Fairway’

WHEN — 8 p.m. Oct. 29-30; 2 p.m. Oct. 31; again Nov. 4-7

WHERE — Arkansas Public Theatre at the Victory in downtown Rogers

COST — $20 & up

INFO — 631-8988 or arkansaspublictheatre.org

Categories: Theater