What does a shy Englishman in search of rest do when he visits a fishing lodge in Georgia?
In Larry Shue’s hilarious farce, Charlie Baker, a proofreader by day and a boring husband by night, adopts the persona of a foreigner who doesn’t understand English. When others begin to speak freely around him, he not only becomes privy to secrets both dangerous and frivolous, he also discovers an adventurous extrovert within himself.
Granbury Theatre Company will present “The Foreigner,” running through June 1 in the old Granbury Live facility located at 110 N. Crockett St.
The production is directed by Andy Looney with Jaime Long as assistant director, production assistant is Gale Gilbert, costumes by Stacey Greenawalt King, and set design by Andrew Barrus.
“The Foreigner” is a two-act comedy. The play, written by Shue, has become a staple of professional and amateur theatre. It has earned two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards as Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production.
The Foreigner was first produced at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre in January of 1983, and the boisterous laughter it created there made the play an enormous local success. It was named by the American Theatre Critics Association as one of the best regional theater plays for the 1983-1984 season,
Because of the extraordinary commercial success of “The Foreigner,” Shue’s other plays came to the attention of American theater companies. His earlier farce, “The Nerd,” had gone from its successful Milwaukee production in 1981 to similarly successful productions in England.
It played in Manchester in 1982 and at the Aldwych Theatre in London in 1984, where it earned more money than any other American play on the West End.
Two years after Shue’s death, in 1987, “The Nerd” was produced on Broadway, and eventually his more serious play, “Wenceslas Square” (1984), became popular as well.
His plays are now staples of university, regional, and community theaters all over America. But Shue is still best known for “The Foreigner,” which started it all.