by Lorie Lewis Ham
This past weekend I went to see The Foreigner in Hanford and it was a riot! If you are looking for something light, fun and clever, that will make you laugh, don’t miss this one.The Foreigner is about a very shy science fiction magazine editor named Charlie who is in desperate need of a break from his ill wife, so his Military Demolition Specialist friend Froggy invites him for a relaxing three days at a fishing lodge in Georgia. Charlie wants to be left alone and is afraid to talk to people, so Froggy tells everyone he is a foreigner who can’t speak English thinking that will do the trick. But instead, it ends up putting Charlie right in the middle of everything. The Lodge owner Betty (Wyleen Luoma) is determined to talk to Charlie anyway, and is so excited to have a foreigner visiting and spicing up her very dull life. She is also stressed over possibly having to sell the Lodge. The young engaged couple staying at the lodge-Reverend David Lee (Sean Hopper) and Catherine Sims (Stephanie Teixiera) have problems of their own and David may not quite be what he appears to be. Catherine’s brother Ellard (C. Sandoval) is being treated like he’s stupid and lacks confidence.
Charlie is thrown into the middle of all of this and overhears things he’s not supposed to because they don’t think he can understand them–some of these things may end up even putting him in danger. However, along the way Charlie starts to come out of his shell as the foreigner and even ends up saving the day, while having loads of fun doing it.
Charlie is played brilliantly by Henry Gonzales. During the part of the show where he is mostly silent, his facial expressions tell so much. Once he comes out of his shell, his character changes completely and he is full of life and craziness. Henry was absolutely hilarious and adorable, and I can’t imagine memorizing all of the nonsense words that he had to for his “language” as a foreigner. There is one little bit that I especially loved as a fan of The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Each one of the rest of these small town characters were brought perfectly to life by the cast and you fall in love with them all by the end–well everyone but the villains who you end up loving to hate. Sandy Brown as Froggy filled out the cast as the British military friend who ends up changing Charlie’s life with one little lie.
This show starts off fun and cute, and by the second act has you laughing non-stop. Directors Corey Ralston and Lindsay Surratt did a great job of putting this all together and bringing the best out of everyone. If you are in need of a good laugh, don’t miss The Foreigner on stage still until September 28.
The Foreigner continues on stage through September 28, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Call 584-7241 for reservations. The show is at The Temple Theater, 514 E. Visalia Street, Hanford, CA 93230.
Check out more local arts and entertainment articles in KRL’s A & E section.