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Wednesday, May. 31, 2023

Review: ‘Fox on Fairway’ hilarious farce

NANCY K. BROWN/for the Van Wert independent

Thursday evening, I had the opportunity to view the dress rehearsal of Ken Ludwig’s The Fox on the Fairway, presented by Off Stage Productions at the Van Wert County Senior Center. This hilarious comedy combines the game of golf with the game of life, pitting rival golf clubs and budding love interests in an irreverent mix of scheming and laughter.

Perhaps most notable is Staci Kaufman in the role of Pamela Peabody, vice president of Quail Valley Country Club, which has lost the annual golf tournament five years in a row to rival club Crouching Squirrel. Pamela, along with Club President Henry Bingham, played by John Vining, put their heads together in a series of schemes to enlist and keep a ringer for the tournament and ensure a win for the club. Perhaps the finest moment in the show comes in Act 2 when Kaufman (Pamela) works to dislodge an oyster that has slid down the inside her black evening gown.

Bingham (John Vining, left) and Justin (Steve Bricker) prepare for the golf tournament. (Off Stage photo)
Bingham (John Vining, left) and Justin (Steve Bricker) prepare for the golf tournament. (Off Stage photo)

Vining also does a fine job in his role as the scheming Bingham, who has learned that he will lose his job if his team is not able to pull off a win at this year’s tournament. With the recruitment of a new club member, he feels certain that victory is in the bag, but shortly before the start of the tournament, his plans go awry.

Vining’s most notable moment comes as he expresses his true feelings for Pamela, only to learn that the public address system is on and his passionate appeals have been shared with everyone on the course –including his wife, Muriel, played by Mary Yackey, a strong-willed woman whose camouflage clothing matches her presumed predatory instinct.

In addition, the play is marked by very credible performances by Dustin Manson, Lacy Allen, and Steve Bricker in their roles as Justin, the new golf assistant; Louise, the club house waitress; and Dickie Bell, the rival golf club president.

To add to the work of the cast, the comedic music increases the “back woodsy” feel and goes with the goofy golf-themed one-liners, making it an evening of entertaining fun.

While many things about the script are predictable, the ending is not, which makes the entire performance fully worthwhile.

To add icing to the cake, Director Dan Bulau and Co-Director Amy Shoppell have enlisted a most clever curtain call — well worth watching.

The Fox on the Fairway opened Friday, April 24, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. performance. Additional 8 p.m. performances remain on May 1, 2, and 8, with Sunday matinee performance on May 3. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. for the matinee performances.

A buffet-style meal, prepared by Catering at its BEST by Sonya and Diane, will be served starting at 7 p.m. for the evening shows and at 1 p.m. for the matinees. Reservations can be made by calling 419.605.6708, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Ticket price is $25 for the dinner and the show.

The Van Wert County Senior Center is located at 220 Fox Road in Van Wert.

POSTED: 04/27/15 at 7:40 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News