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'Fox on the Fairway' swings into action by TPNC

Published 11:05 am, Sunday, February 17, 2013
  • Dickie (Tom Petrone), Muriel (Marcia Vinci), Pamela (Deborah Burke) Louise (Sarah Smegal) and Henry (Kevin Mc Donough) react as Justin (Morgan Flagg) falls to his knees with a broken arm. These comedy actors will lead audiences on a madcap adventure about love, life and manís eternal love affair with golf in the Town Players of New Canaanís production of Ken Ludwig's "The Fox on the Fairway." Photo: Contributed
    Dickie (Tom Petrone), Muriel (Marcia Vinci), Pamela (Deborah Burke) Louise (Sarah Smegal) and Henry (Kevin Mc Donough) react as Justin (Morgan Flagg) falls to his knees with a broken arm. These comedy actors will lead audiences on a madcap adventure about love, life and manís eternal love affair with golf in the Town Players of New Canaanís production of Ken Ludwig's "The Fox on the Fairway." Photo: Contributed

 

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"The Fox on the Fairway," Ken Ludwig's fast, furious and fun comedy will be staged by the Town Players of New Canaan on Feb. 22, 23 and 24 and March 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9 at The Powerhouse Theatre, Waveny Park.

The Feb. 22 and 23 and March 1, 2, 8 and 9 performances take place at 8 p.m. and Feb. 24 and March 3 at 2:30 p.m.

"The Fox on the Fairway" is produced by Sheri Dean and directed by Tim Cronin.

Ken Ludwig has had six shows on Broadway and six in the West End, and he has won two Laurence Olivier Awards, three Tony Award nominations, two Helen Hayes Awards and the Edgar Award.

In late October 2010, when the Town Players were in tech week for its mystery "Postmortem," "The Fox on the Fairway" was opening at the Signature Theatre in Washington, D.C.

It strikes Ludwig that golf is innately funny. Things go awry and havoc breaks out when the night before the tournament opens the best golfer switches club allegiance from Quail Valley to Crouching Squirrel.

Cronin believes "The Fox on the Fairway" is Ludwig at his funniest and he is delighted with his cast.

Kevin McDonough of Ridgefield will be seen in the role of Henry Bingham, director of Quail Valley. A former Ringling Brothers Barnum& Bailey Circus clown, McDonough has done nothing theatrically conventional (a set, furniture and lines) since college and is enjoying the precision required in high farce. Appearing as Bingham's nemesis, Dickie Bell, manager of Crouching Squirrel, will be Tom Petrone, of Norwalk, who loves playing villains.

"Dickie," said Petrone, "as the antagonist is unscrupulous in business and dim-witted, not smart enough to be a dastardly villain."

Petrone believes audiences will "get a kick out of Dickie's clothes and laugh before he opens his mouth when they see his most outlandish sweaters and pants."

Foils to the feuding club managers are the beautiful lush Pamela and Muriel, owner of Ye Olde Crock antique shop and Bingham's wife, to be played, respectively, by Deborah Burke of Stamford and Marcia Cummings Vinci of Pound Ridge. They share enthusiasm for their over-the-top roles. Vinci said, "Muriel is so incredibly sure of herself, has no problem letting her feeling out; she's been offbeat her entire life."

Burke loves playing comedy best and said, "Whoever gets the chance to spout such fun lines as `golf and sex are the only things you can do without being good at it?'"

Morgan Flagg of New Canaan and Sarah Smegal of Stamford are playing the young lovers Justin and Louise, fresh to the game of love and golf, but already as actors accomplished in comedy. Well known to New Canaan High School audiences, Flagg starred as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and appeared as Lloyd Dallas, the director, in "Noises Off."

At Lynchburg College, he acted in straight shows and when he transferred to Keene State was president of the improvisation group 3 Ways Till Sunday. Since appearing three years ago in Ed Monk's farcical play "Cut," Morgan hasn't performed in a scripted show and is happy to be brushing up his acting chops. He is currently a student of the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City.

Samegal has done a lot of comedy and farce and "just loves to hear the audience following along as they figure out the high jinx and then their laughter."

In playing opposite Morgan, she said, "I can be carefree with him. He is not afraid to have fun and he never makes me feel self-conscious."

Completing the cast is Ed Donahue, who will be heard as the tournament announcer.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors (age 62). A party will follow the opening night performance. For tickets, call 203-966-7371.