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Long Lake Theater's 'Foreigner' sure to stir chuckles

"The Foreigner" features a cast of zany characters, including Ellard Simms (played by Jacob Froelich) and Charlie Baker (Nate Gebhard), and delightfully funny antics. The comedy runs June 2-26 at Long Lake Theater in Hubbard.

Long Lake Theater opens for its ninth summer season with "The Foreigner," a comedy by Larry Shue.

Winner of two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards as Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production. "The Foreigner" is an inspired comic romp, equal in inventive hilarity to the author's classic comedy "The Nerd."

A remote southern fishing lodge is the setting for the latest production at the Hubbard theater. "Froggy" LeSeuer, played by Timothy Daggett, is a British demolition expert who occasionally runs training sessions at a nearby army base. On this particular visit, he brings a friend, a pathologically shy young Englishman named Charlie Baker (played by Nate Gebhard). Froggy tells all assembled that Charlie is from an exotic, foreign country and speaks no English, convinced this scheme will provide Charlie some much-needed peace and quiet.

Over the course of three days, Charlie unwillingly overhears decidedly personal conversations between guests who have no idea he understands them. Before long, he learns many damaging revelations, including a possibly dangerous one. From there, hilarity ensues.

Among the cast of zany characters is the widow Betty Meeks, played by Lynne Presson. She is joined by a half-wit benefactor Ellard Simms (played by Jacob Froelich) and ex-debutant Catherine Simms (played by Sarah Schultz). Bill Case portrays Owen Musser, a redneck local property inspector who associates with the silver-tongued Reverend David Marshall Lee (played by Ken Makinen).

The production is directed by Mary Harrison, a longtime director at Long Lake Theater. Harrison brings her extensive acting and directing experience to the show. Mary Helfrich serves as a highly capable stage manager.

"This cast is absolutely fantastic," said Harrison. "I've never had so much fun directing a show in my entire life!"

Leading the talented cast is Nate Gebhard, who recently earned the title Minnesota State Champion at the state speech competition in the category of creative expression.

Performances of "The Foreigner" are Wednesdays at 3 p.m. and Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., from June 2-26.

To make reservations, call (218) 732-0099 or visit Tickets are also available at Beagle Books in downtown Park Rapids or Sister Wolf Books in Dorset.

Ticket holders to the opening matinee are invited to a gala at Jewel of the Northwoods B&B following the show to mingle with the cast and enjoy light refreshments.