A MAD ROMP ON THE GREEN
Not all was quiet on the golf course last Sunday afternoon.
In fact it was anything but during Twin City Stage’s production of The Fox on the Fairway, an exaggerated comedy poking fun of the game and “highfalutin” country club folk—a term my grandmother would use to describe anyone above middle class and any woman who popped her heels too loud.
The farce, written by Ken Ludwig, depicts a couple of lovesick youngsters, a failing marriage, two rival country clubs, one very steep bet and a whole lot of explosive energy.
This was by far the most exciting game of golf I’ve ever been involved in; and in fact, it was the most thrilling game I’ve never seen. Since the entire play takes place in the Quail Valley Country Club, it was up to the actors to help the audience envision each drive and putt that occurred offstage.
The cast of six—although it felt like more seeing as how well they filled the stage—used an array of lip biting, eye squinting and fist clenching to help portray the details of the game they were “watching” out the window.
Holly Bostick and Shelton Tripp, who played the naïve, infatuated couple, were bursting with youthful energy that made you feel like a young kid in love again. Bostick, especially, was annoyingly chipper and dramatic, which helped to amplify those moments that were painfully funny.
And this play is filled with those moments. At times I found myself covering my mouth, slapping my forehead and yelling, “Oh my gosh, why would you do that!?” Derrick Parker, who plays as Bingham, the head of the Quail Country Club and the man who bet a $100,000 and his wife’s antique store on the tournament, has one of the best screams I’ve heard on stage in awhile. It truly drew me in to his exasperation, and made me guiltily laugh at him, too.
Mary Lea Dominick, who plays as the hard-as-nails wife of Bingham, holds a permanent scowl throughout each scene, which only makes you feel even sorrier for her husband.
Scenic Designer Andrew Lopina brought the country club to life with a dark wood bar (since most country-club members need a drink, even at 10 a.m.), golf clubs hanging on the walls and a hideously brilliant couch with an elegant frame and golf-patterned fabric.
Of course, the Quail Valley Country Club isn’t as “uppity” as it seems at first glance, given the PA system is constantly failing and needs a good swift hit every now and then to keep it running. In the end, it falls victim to one of those swings and soft smoke billows out of the speaker.
The horrendous golf sweaters and miss-matched outfits, designed by Costume Designer Justin Hall, put the final sarcastic touches on the set. From ballooning plaid caps, to bright knickers and knee socks, Hall captured the butt of the joke of stereotypical golf attire everywhere.
He also captured the sexiness of romantic dates and young butterflies. When the lovesick couple gets in a fight, they attempt to make amends at a romantic dinner.
Louise (Holly Bostick) borrows a short, red “Hail Mary” dress from a middle-aged three-time divorcee, Pamela (Christine Gorelick). Gorelick, who wore her own sexy, floor-length purple “Home Sweet Home” dress, which got its name because its front door’s always open, delivers some of the funniest lines.
The entire play is filled with mild sexual innuendo and cracks at the awful state of marriage—a state similar to Alaska, same climate and no drilling allowed!
Gorelick does a great job using her body, too, for comic relief, especially when she’s trying to find ways to muffle a mic.
In addition to the wild comedy, Twin City Stage added a little flare to the lobby, too, with a friendly game of putt-putt. Audience members were given the chance to putt a hole in one on a single lane and be entered in a raffle to win a pair of tickets to their choice of show by TCS.
So whether you’re a golf fanatic or a cynic who thinks it’s the most boring televised sport, The Fox on the Fairway will have you laughing, biting your nails and simply forgetting that you’re in a public place and maybe shouldn’t yell out quite so loud. !
Twin City Stage performs The Fox on the Fairway Thursday through Sunday at the Arts Council Theatre, 610 Coliseum Drive, Winston-Salem. Tickets are $18- $22. For tickets or more information visit twincitystage.org or call 725-4001.