‘A Fox on the Fairway’ delivers hole-in-one humor

‘A Fox on the Fairway’ delivers hole-in-one humor
(Left to right) Patricia Nicklin as Pamela Peabody, Ken Kemp as Henry Bingham and Cameron McBride as Justin Hicks. (Photo Credit: Matt Liptak)

By Mae Hunt | mhunt@alextimes.com

If you’re a fan of golf or golf-based humor, you’re guaranteed to love “A Fox on the Fairway.” If you’re not a fan of the sport, you’ll probably also have a pretty good time, because unlike a game of golf, “A Fox on the Fairway” actually picks up steam.

I jest. But seriously, I could write this review exclusively using golf puns, and I still wouldn’t have anything on the Little Theatre of Alexandria’s latest comedic production. Full of energetic performances and boundless innuendos, Ken Ludwig’s “A Fox on the Fairway” is a fun summer romp.

Cameron McBride as Justin Hicks and Raeanna Larson
as Louise Heindbedder (Photo Credit: Matt Liptak)

The plot follows Henry Bingham (Ken Kemp), the Quail Valley Golf and Country Club president who is determined to win the club’s annual golf tournament after losing to rival club Crouching Squirrel for the last five years. Things look up when he discovers his assistant, Justin Hicks (Cameron McBride) is a golf prodigy; however, drama between Justin and his fiancée, Louise (Raeanna Nicole Larson), threatens to throw Justin off his game. Hijinks ensue when attempts to calm the feuding couple by Bingham and club board member Pamela (Patricia Nicklin) only make things worse.

There is a timeless quality to “A Fox on the Fairway.” The show premiered at Signature Theater in Arlington in 2010, and while Ken Ludwig’s script is set in the present day, there is little about it that feels modern. Its over-the-top plot twists, physical comedy and characters who wink-wink-nudge-nudge at the audience bring to mind classic farces like Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” or any great “I Love Lucy” episode.

As a result, “A Fox on the Fairway” is at its most enjoyable when the plot is at its most ridiculous. There are some clunky moments of dialogue in the beginning of both acts, as if the characters aren’t comfortable in normal situations, having normal conversations. The direction and performances really start to shine once the action escalates and characters start playing football with expensive vases, faking “hysterical blindness” and sporadically falling in and out of love.

Cameron McBride as Justin
Hicks and Ken Kemp as Henry Bingham (Photo Credit: Matt Liptak)

The show’s six cast members share great chemistry. McBride and Larson are excellent as young lovers Justin and Louise, remaining a believable couple no matter how unbelievable the scenario. Kemp and Nicklin play off of each other well and earn some of the biggest laughs from the audience. Brendan Chaney’s portrayal of Dickie, the tacky, sweater-wearing president of Crouching Squirrel, make for a lovable antagonist, and Lorraine Bouchard’s dramatic entrance as Muriel drew squeals of delight from the audience.

The majority of the action in “A Fox on the Fairway” takes place in the Quail Valley tap room, and director Scott J. Strasbaugh makes excellent use of the space. Much of the play’s humor comes from physical comedy, and the characters are constantly chasing each other through the main set, hiding behind the bar and climbing over furniture.

Another standout element was the production’s use of bright, cheerful colors. The characters’ candy-colored golf outfits against the vibrant green of the set makes for visually engaging scenes that complement the show’s upbeat nature.

“A Fox on the Fairway” is an entertaining show, perfect for anyone looking to laugh during a night out. It should be noted that there is a fair amount of sexual humor in the script. It’s not overly crude, but this reviewer still suggests leaving the kids at home. For everyone else, though, it’s sure to be an un-fore-gettable time.

If you go

Run dates: Through June 29

Where: Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe St, Alexandria, VA 22314

For tickets and information: 703-683-5778 or visit www.thelittletheatre.com.

(Foodie: Keep your gut happy with a roasted fruit and vegetable medley)