By Mike Archer. If most of those at Gallery 7’s premiere of Larry Shue’s hilarious comedy, The Foreigner, Friday were asked they would probably say that Andrew Abrahams’ performance deserved a Tony.
Hyperbolic, I know, but the relationship Abrahams developed with the audience was built slowly and carefully throughout the production so that, at its crescendo, though we were all taken aback, we nonetheless followed along into territory for which we weren’t prepared. We did so because of the trust Abrahams had built up through the performance.
That’s also directing. I say that because, while Abrahams could be said to have stolen the show, in fact he didn’t. And that is where really good directing comes in. Abrahams didn’t outdo his fellow actors, he lived up to the role as Larry Shue had written it. He couldn’t have done it without the excellent work of those with whom he shared the stage, all of whom lived up to the demands of their roles as well and as effectively as Abrahams did.
Director Carrissa Boynton found a way to get the most out of every actor in her cast and they all rose to the occasion. Seldom have I felt the communal bow with hands held at the end of the show was so appropriate. Everybody shouldered his or her load in this production. And that is saying something.
Many theatre productions suffer from having one or two roles which are either not as well acted as the rest or seem bereft of the depth the writer gave them despite their minor role on stage.
No minor roles in this production. This cast had no minor roles … no minor actors.
The talent was well distributed and each and every actor lived to up what was expected of them and delivered an individual performance that was equivalent to that required of and delivered by Abrahams.
A beautifully written, wickedly funny and poignant play delivered impeccably by a cast and crew that deserve all the kudos they will receive from the theatre community in Abbotsford and those throughout the Lower Mainland who will simply love this production.
Ken Hildebrandt, Executive/Artistic Director of Gallery 7 described the plot this way:“The story goes something like this: Charlie, a pathologically shy person, is a little down on his luck of late. His best friend “Froggy”, a munitions expert in the British Army, treats Charlie to a vacation at a small fishing lodge in rural Georgia. To help his introverted friend, Froggy announces to all that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and can’t speak a lick of English. And so the fun begins. As Charlie listens in on sinister plots and scandalous revelations, he unwittingly becomes the catalyst to righting what has been wronged. Written by one of America’s great comic writers, this is a hilarious play with a classic ‘good versus bad’ story at its heart.”
The Foreigner runs June 7 & 8, 13 – 15, 22 – 23, 2013 @ 7:30 PM with additional discount matinees on June 8, 15 & 23 @ 2:00 PM at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford. Tickets for evening performances are $20 Adults, $18 Seniors and Students, $17 Groups (8+) and $12.00 Children (12 & under). Matinee performances are $15 General and $12.00 Children.
Tickets can be purchased at the House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford or by calling 604-852-3701 or 1-800-665-8828. To order tickets online, or for more information about the show and Gallery 7 Theatre, please visit www.gallery7theatre.com.
(left to right) Andrew Abrahams and Joel Loeve perform a scene in Gallery 7 Theatre’s production of The Foreigner by Larry Shue. Photo by Dianna Lewis, Creative Memory Studios.