Performance might even thrill non-theater goers

Muriel (Lynda Goeke) catches her husband Bingham (Parrish Williams) and Pamela (Jean Childers-Arnold) in an embarrassing moment.

Muriel (Lynda Goeke) catches her husband Bingham (Parrish Williams) and Pamela (Jean Childers-Arnold) in an embarrassing moment.

Last year, Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre’s production of Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me a Tenor” was a crowd favorite. From the same pen, Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre is now presenting “The Fox on the Fairway.” A tale about love, life and man’s eternal love affair with golf hopes to keep audiences laughing.

Michael Lasley, the show’s producing director is no rookie to the business. Lasley started his role as producing director in 2002 but has been working for Civic since 1990. Originally designing sound and building scenery, it only seemed natural to begin running more areas of the production.

“The main requirement is to be willing to ask anyone to do anything for little or no money and make sure they know how to do their job and get it accomplished on time,” Lasley said. “We can’t afford to miss deadlines in this business. Tickets have been sold, so the show must go on!”

Lasley explained that the most challenging part of this production, and for that matter any Ken Ludwig play, was that he tended to create difficult technical and scenic problems to solve.

“In this case, the entire show takes place inside the tap room in a country club until the final scene which takes you outside for the final putt of the tournament,” he said.

Justin (Geoffrey McKinney) explains to Louise (Melissa Mellinger) how he got his new job at Quail Valley Country Club.

Justin (Geoffrey McKinney) explains to Louise (Melissa Mellinger) how he got his new job at Quail Valley Country Club.

Even with the challenges that come with being a producing director, Lasley enjoys being able to see the whole show being brought together.

“I enjoy most seeing the company as a whole succeed,” Lasley said.

“The Fox on the Fairway” follows two archival country club executives who go head-to-head with a personal wager during their annual golf tournament. This madcap adventure about love and golf takes its audience through mistaken identities, slamming doors and over-the-top romantic shenanigans.

“Nobody will appreciate the hysterical agony and ecstasy of the show more than those that share a love of the game of golf,” Lasley said. “It’s the kind of show that might just appeal to those that think theatre isn’t for them. It’s funny and accessible.”

The Civic Theatre strives to get a mixture of experienced actors.

“We are very pleased with the freshness and stability that this kind of casting brings to the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre,” Lasley said.

The cast of “The Fox on the Fairway” is a great representation of actors who have worked with the Civic Theatre before and new performers, either new to the Civic Theatre or new to the idea of performing entirely.

Veterans Parrish Williams and Jean Childers Arnold (Henry and Pamela) have each done several shows with the Civic Theatre. Melissa Mellinger (Louise) is making another appearance for the Civic after her role in “A Chorus Line” earlier this year. Last week, rookies Paul Ellis (Dickie), Geoffrey McKinney (Justin) and Lynda Goeke (Muriel) all made their debut on the Civic’s stage at the show’s opening night.

  • What: Ken Ludwig’s “The Fox on the Fairway”
  • When: Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., Feb. 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 23 at 5 p.m.
  • Where: The Tarkington, 3 Center Green
  • Cost: Tickets are $39 for adults, $29 for ages 17 and under. The show contains mature content and is not recommended for young children.
  • More information: Visit www.civictheatre.org or call 843-3800.

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