Elgin Theatre opens season with golf farce
By Kathy Cichon For Sun-Times Media September 5, 2013 8:42AM
Ed Duncan of Elk Grove Village plays Justin in “Fox and the Fairway.” | Elgin Theatre Company
‘The Fox on the Fairway’
♦ Sept. 6-22
♦ ASL interpreter: Sept. 15
♦ Kimball Street Theater of Elgin Academy, Kimball St. and Dundee Ave.
♦ Tickets, $12-$15
♦ (847) 741-0532
What do you get when you take a golf course bet, mix it with the desperation to win, a newly engaged couple and a lost engagement ring?
Hilarious results, of course.
Elgin Theatre Company opens its 2013-2014 season Sept. 6 with Ken Ludwig’s comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” for a three-weekend run at the Kimball Street Theater, located in Elgin Academy’s Rider Center at Kimball Street and Dundee Avenue in Elgin.
“There’s a lot of laughter,” said Linda Collins, who serves as producer along with Ed Duncan. “It’s a very physical show. There’s a lot of running around akin to a British farce.”
Performances are held to Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. The Sept. 15 performance will feature an American Sign Language interpreter for the hearing impaired. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and youth, and can be purchase by calling (847) 741-0532, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or at the door.
The cast of six tells the story of Bingham, the president of the Quail Valley Country Club, and several of its employees. Bingham’s new assistant, Justin, is in love with waitress Louise. When the golfer Bingham thought would play for the club in the annual tournament is recruited by his nemesis at the opposing club, Bingham fears he will lose a large bet he made.
However, he learns Justin is a good golfer and has him play for Quail Valley’s team. But when Louise loses the engagement ring Justin gave her, Justin becomes unglued and Bingham grows more desperate.
In the meantime, Bingham’s wife catches him too close to Pamela, the sex-starved vice president of Quail Valley. Bingham wonders if he can overcome these obstacles to win the game and bet.
“It’s a very involved plot because it’s farce. It’s based on what would be normal people in absurd situations,” sad Director Frank Del Giudice.
Think chase scenes in a golf country club. Sexual innuendo without anything untoward.
“It deals with people’s obsession with golf and intertwines it with people’s foibles with love,” he said.
The show is Del Giudice’s first production with ETC, but he is no stranger to the stage. A member of the Actors’ Equity Association for 30 years, Elgin resident Del Giudice has appeared on stage at the Goodman, Drury Lane and more. In addition, he teaches acting, directing and improvisation at Elmhurst College.
Del Giudice said the cast and crew is working hard to put together an evening filled with fun and laughs. “They’re putting their hearts and souls in it,” he said.
Perhaps one of the most challenging technical aspects to the production is what takes place off-stage, Collins said.
“We’re trying to create a golf game that you can’t see,” Collins said. “There are quite a few sound effects.”
While this season marks 51 years of shows ETC has been producing shows for the community, “The Fox on the Fairway” is its first production to offer a performance with an American Sign Language interpreter. “We’re really excited to be able to offer such a performance,” said Collins, who got the idea while working in the Access and Disability Services office at Harper College. “Accessibility should be everywhere. Accessibility doesn’t just mean having a ramp up to a building or a bar in the bathroom ... It means being able to get out and enjoy life.”
Andrew Ross, who has been in several ETC shows, is also a professional American Sign Language interpreter. Collins said he volunteers his time and attends every rehearsal. Del Giudice said Ross is “masterful” in the way he interprets the actors’ dialogue and speech.
Those who would like a seat near the interpreter at the Sept. 15 performance are encouraged to reserve tickets in advance. “If we get a good response, we will add another show,” Collins said.
Later this season, the group will present “Men are Dogs” and “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” both comedies.