Theatre at the Center presents Chicago-area premiere

2013-02-15T00:00:00Z 2013-02-15T13:17:06Z Theatre at the Center presents Chicago-area premiereEloise Marie Valadez Eloise.Valadez@nwi.com, (219) 933-3365 nwitimes.com

There'll be laughs aplenty as director Bill Pullinsi presents the comedy "The Fox on the Fairway" through March 24 at Munster's Theatre at the Center.

The show, centered around the topic of golf, was written by popular playwright Ken Ludwig and is enjoying its Chicago-area premiere in Munster.

'I think audiences will have a lot of fun," said Pullinsi, who's long been a fan of Ludwig's work. Ludwig's theatrical hits include "Lend Me a Tenor," Moon Over Buffalo," and "Crazy for You."

Pullinsi, who is Theatre at the Center's artistic director, said "The Fox on the Fairway" is classic Ludwig.

"It's the typical Ken Ludwig farce, wry in the style of the old farce masters," he said, adding there are mistaken identities, lots of word play, madcap humor and assorted antics.

"Ken Ludwig is one of the favorite American writers writing farces today," he said.

The director said the show's cast is particularly talented in delivering this type of comedy.

"You have to cast actors who can really play this style. It calls for comedians who are good actors," Pullinsi explained. "They have to handle language well and deliver it rapidly."

Starring in the show are Lance Baker, Linda Gillum, Norm Boucher, Michael Mahler, Kate Bergeron and Laura Freeman. The play's storyline revolves around a golf tournament and rival country clubs and the antics and problems that ensue during an annual grudge match.

Playwright Ludwig said he's happy that Pullinsi is debuting and directing  the work in the region.

"He knows this kind of work," he said, adding Pullinsi is familiar with his style of writing and has presented his plays and many farces in the past all the way back to Pullinsi's Candlelight Theatre and Forum Theatre days.

Ludwig said farce as a style needs great precision on stage. The playwright delights in writing in the farcical style.

"I have always been a great fan of it. I like theatrical form and I think a lot about how plays are structured," he said.

"The Fox on the Fairway" pays tribute to the English farces of the '30s and '40s.

Farces, Ludwig said, have a lot of "energy" to them. He said one of his favorite English farces is "Dandy Dick" by Arthur Wing Pinero.

"I must have read that 30 times," he said, laughing. Ludwig said he enjoys sitting in an audience and watching people watch one of his productions.

"I get a kick out of it," he said, adding he's disappointed he won't be able to get to the area for this presentation of  "The Fox on the Fairway."

Pullinsi said he's thrilled to be presenting an area premiere.

'I love to do Chicago premieres and have tried to do a lot over the years whenever I can. It's interesting to introduce a show to an audience." Pullinsi added a director often fine tunes a show to a particular audience as it's in its debut presentation.

In addition to a talented cast, Pullinsi is working with scenic designer Ann Davis, lighting designer Denise Karczewski, sound designer Barry G. Funderburg, props designer Lauren Earnshaw, costume designer Brenda Winstead and wig designer Kevin Barthel.

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