Holly Twyford in Ken Ludwig's A Fox on the Fairway
Photo by Scott Suchman


A Fox on the Fairway Shines

Physical humor, rapid-fire style help make farce unforgettable
by David Hoffman
The Fairfax Times

Few sports are as personal as golf -- every mistake and every triumph is right there in front of you on the course, ready to be castigated or celebrated.

But whether or not you're one of the nearly 5 million Americans caught up in pursuit of the right grip, the perfect putt and the overall agony and ecstasy of golf, there's great fun waiting for you with "A Fox on the Fairway," which runs through Nov. 14 at Signature Theatre in Arlington.

The rapid-fire comedy from Washington, D.C., resident and Tony-winning playwright Ken Ludwig is hilarious, even if you don't know that a break is the curve of a putt due to the slope of the terrain and gravity. If you lack that kind of golf know-how, you can still laugh at Ludwig's characters, members of competing country clubs Quail Valley and Crouching Squirrel, which are about to go head-to-head in their 43rd annual inter-club tournament.

Although a golf theme tees things up, the play is really a tribute to the great English sex farces of the 1930s and 1940s. Mistaken identities, double-entendres, slamming doors and romantic confusion ensue as young Justin (played with terrific timing and nervous energy and the chirpiest of voices by a very droll Aubrey Decker) tries to figure out how to handle his love affair with the both attractive and ditzy Louise, his fellow Quail Valley club employee. With her high-pitched voice and a vocabulary chock full of malapropisms, Meg Steadle is hilarious.

While struggling to understand his relationship, Justin has been hired as a personal assistant to the club's director, Mr. Bingham, portrayed with brio by the Broadway star Jeff McCarthy, known on the Great White Way for his roles in "Urinetown" and "Chicago." Bingham tries to dodge constant surveillance by his implacable wife Muriel (Valerie Leonard, also with Broadway credits and marvelous in this role), as he seeks to kindle a romance with another club officer, Pamela (portrayed by Holly Twyford).

But while Pamela and Mr. Bingham can't seem to control themselves, Richard -- a member of rival club Crouching Squirrel and portrayed by area theater veteran Andrew Long -- sets his sights on Muriel. Add in some breakups and make-ups, revealed family secrets and chuckle-worthy physical humor, and "A Fox on the Fairway" will work for anyone, no matter your ability for or appreciation of golf.

Tell a Friend

Contact Information
Return to the Home Page