Charles Raison Theatre
Ringing With Laughter
by Liz Warren
Photo by Ben Gorman
By now, its
common knowledge that Sedona Arts Center is closing the Charles
W. Raison Theatre for good. But dont come to Oak Creek
Theatre Companys final production at the venue with
expectations of glum actors and visions of Producing Artistic
Director Mary Guaraldi with tears welling up in her eyes.
Come expecting the sense of excitement that the theatre feels
for its upcoming period of growth, and to laugh along with
its current production.
After April 29,
the Charles Raison Theatre may be dark, but OCTC lives on
as it prepares to launch a fourth season of premier professional
theatre for northern Arizona.
And what better
way to end OCTCs tenure at the Arts Center than with
The Foreigner, a laugh-out-loud trip to Tilghman County, Georgia,
courtesy of playwright Larry Shue.
The comedy bubbles
over into more ominous territory in this hilarious and compelling
glimpse into the world of a rural fishing lodge through the
eyes of shy Englishman Charlie.
Set adrift in Tilghman
County for a few days by a friend, Charlie would rather pretend
to not speak or understand English than face the burden of
conversing with the lodges residents, who soon take
a shine to the fellow who cant understand or judge their
foibles. Suddenly the town celebrity, Charlies new role
as town confessor quickly shows him that nothing is quite
what it seems, and he soon finds himself forced to face some
very real bad guys. "I laughed start to finish at one
comic surprise after another," says The New Yorker.
is definitely a comedy," said Guaraldi. ". . . But
somewhere in the middle it takes on a surprising depth."
Directed by Dan
Schay, The Foreigner features several OCTC favorites, including
Rick Davis a.k.a. Snoopy (Sgt. "Froggy" LeSueur),
Benjamin Gorman from The Dining Room (Charlie Baker), Mike
Levin from Sylvia (Rev. David Marshall Lee) and Michael Peach
from The Glass Menagerie (Owen Musser), plus new faces Jenna
Blasi (Catherine Simms), Joelle Davis (Ellie Simms) and Judy
Ellickson (Betty Meeks).
plays through April 29 at Sedona Arts Centers Charles
W. Raison Theatre in uptown Sedona, 7:30 p.m., Wednesdays
- Saturdays, with 2:00 p.m. matinees on Sundays.
to The Foreigner is $15, with a $12 price available to members
of SAC and a $9 price for full-time students. Group rates
are available, call for details. Tickets can be purchased
locally by phone at (888) 954-4442. For information on student
performances, call Guaraldi at 282-3809.
All Wednesday night
performances are $10, based on seating availability. Sundays
feature the popular "Curtain Call" program, a post-show
discussion with the actors and producer of the production.
Dont miss this behind-the-scenes peek into the world
of professional theatre.