Taking Flight Theatre Company The Fox On the FairwayBy Laura & Mike Clark • Feb 18th, 2013 • Category: Reviews
Taking Flight Theatre Company: (Info) (Web)
NVCC-Waddell Theater, Sterling, VA
Through February 23rd
2:00, with one intermission
$15/$10 Seniors, Students
Reviewed February 15th, 2013
Take two rival golf country club snobs, an innocent bumbling assistant and overly sensitive ditzy waitress, a sex-starved club vice president, and an angry woman. Add a priceless “Ming” vase, a wedding ring that gets flushed down the toilet, a golf tournament, slamming doors and you have the ingredients of a pretty funny show. But not so much in Taking Flight Theatre Company’s opening night performance of Ken Ludwig’s The Fox on the Fairway. This farce needed a bit more work on its timing and characterizations, so despite a few funny scenes, it more often than not fell flat.
Pamela (Jessie Roberts) and Muriel (Barbara Carpenter) tried very hard. They were emotional, over-the-top and came across as humorous and believable. Roberts and Carpenter played to the audience and their actor cohorts to try to draw them out. However, in the tug-of-war-of comedy when you do not have much to pull against the comedy doesn’t work. Both Dickie (Bob Rosenberg) and Mr. Bingham (Dell Pendergrast) seemed nervous and uncomfortable on stage. It took a while to realize that Rosenberg was messing up his lines as scripted (e.g. “to the spoils go the victor” and “the sock is on the other shoe”). The malapropisms were funny, but the delivery was forced. The other actors needed to respond to him to create the right mood that Dickey was really an idiot and thus generate a laugh. The delivery of the lines simply was not there and even the fight scenes which Roberts and Carpenter delivered with skill, just fell short of the mark.
Lovers Louise (Stephanie Pencek) and Justin Hicks (Will Olivier) were extremely uncomfortable around each other and engaged in a quite chaste “passionate” kiss. Actually, all the stage kisses throughout appeared awkward. Pencek as the dingbat waitress was amusing as she wailed and carried on. Olivier made a few distracting blocking choices, but was effective as the nervous, bumbling assistant.
Set Designer Trevor Johnston created a nice space with plenty of entrances to allow for the required chase scenes. It was fun to observe the opening scene comings and goings. Costume Designer Judy Whelihan had Dickie in some ugly sweaters that enhanced his off-bear character. The technical aspects of the show (light and sound) were steady, although generally lightning occurs before the thunder-clap. The light cues were a touch slow Friday night, but were faster at the ends of the acts. The Mega-mix at the end of the performance replayed the entire play in about two minutes. While amusing, it felt like a ploy to gather extra applause and really wasn’t needed. If the entire play had exhibited the energy of the remix, the production would have been greatly improved.
The production had potential and at times some humor, but overall did not live up to the past high standard that Taking Flight Theatre has been known to bring to Loudoun County.
Photos by Sasha Avilov
- Louise: Stephanie Pencek
- Muriel: Barbara Carpenter
- Justin: Will Oliver
- Mr. Bingham: Dell Pendergrast
- Pamela: Jessie Roberts
- Dickie: Bob Rosenberg
- Producer: Ian Claar, Leah Aspell
- Director: Colleen Stock
- Production Assistant: Fatima Razi
- Stage Manager: Liz Stock-Oliver
- Set Design: Trevor Johnston
- Light Design: Ian Claar
- Sound Design: Caitlin Simmons
- Costume Design: Judy Whelihan
- Light Board Operator: Ian Claar
- Sound Board Operator: Alessandro Gaiarin
- Properties: Leah Aspell, Christina Buck, Fatima Razi
- Technical Director: Trevor Johnston
- Set Construction: Trevor Johnston, Theresa Bender
- Scenic Artists: Leah Aspell, Fatima Razi
- Set Dresser: Jamie Erdman
- Fight Choreographer: Steve Schrader
- Master Carpenter: Trevor Johnston
- Publicist: Katerina Paskins
- House Manager: Neal Warren
Disclaimer: Taking Flight Theatre Company provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/9154.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.