The Maltz-Jupiter Theatre opened its 2014-2015 season on Thursday, Oct. 30 with a spectacular production of “The Foreigner” by Larry Shue. The play will run through Nov. 9 but if the full house on Thursday was any indicator of future availability, don’t wait to get tickets. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available from $54 and can be purchased online at www.jupitertheatre.org or by calling the box office at 561-575-2223.
This show should be a sell out. It’s beautifully staged, wonderfully cast, and tightly directed by New York-based freelance director, Matt Lenz who describes “The Foreigner” as having “…all of the ingredients for success: a sound premise, a compelling plot and characters that are well-drawn, likeable and recognizable – as well as a strong, sweet beating heart and true humanity.”
Sadly, some of that humanity is expressed in the form of racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, deceit, and other issues that we’re still dealing with 30+ years after the play was launched in 1983.
That said, these serious issues are given several funny twists so we’re able to laugh at ourselves in the guise of the actors while not missing the playwright’s points. There were lots of titters throughout the production and several scenes elicited extended guffaws. Happily, the play ends on an upbeat hooray-for-humanity note.
The casting was amazing. Accents were established early and maintained throughout the play. In the “Footlights” play bill, several of the characters talked about their linguistic connections to the roles they were playing.
The characters were independently and interdependently well developed and strong with none of them being overbearing or timid in their roles. The repartee pace was often staccato but no one tripped on anyone else’s lines.
While all in the cast were great, particular mention goes to Andrew Sellon as Charlie Baker and Matthew Minor as Ellard Simms. Sellon had the hard task of not registering understanding when being directly addressed and he did it convincingly and consistently.
Simms’ timing, intonation, behaviors and points of reference were amazingly accurate depictions of someone with a learning disability. He must have closely studied these traits to do them so well.
All in all it’s a great play and beautifully done.
The rest of the new season promises to be wonderful with “Fiddler on the Roof” (Dec/2014); “The Wiz” (Jan/2015); Glen Garry Glen Ross (Feb/2015); and “Les Miserables” (Mar/2015). Tickets are now available for all these productions.
In addition to the season productions, the Maltz has an extensive lineup of special productions and limited engagements starting with a Nov. 15 benefit concert starring Chita Rivera celebrating her 80th birthday. The show begins at 8 p.m. and tickets start at $75.
Maltz Jupiter Theatre is located at 1001 East Indiantown Road in Jupiter – a direct shot east from I-95. For tickets and additional information, call 561-675-2223 or visit www.jupitertheatre.org