Ken Ludwig's New Comedy, Fox on the Fairway, Opens at Arlington's Signature; John Rando Directs

News   Ken Ludwig's New Comedy, Fox on the Fairway, Opens at Arlington's Signature; John Rando Directs Signature Theatre's world-premiere production of Ken Ludwig's country club-set comedy A Fox on the Fairway, featuring Broadway's Jeff McCarthy, plus metro DC favorites Holly Twyford and Andrew Long, officially opens Oct. 24 following previews from Oct. 13 in Arlington, VA.

Jeff McCarthy and Holly Twyford
Jeff McCarthy and Holly Twyford Photo by Scott Suchman

Directed by Tony Award winner John Rando, the production plays to Nov. 14 in Signature's MAX Theater. The cast is rounded out by Aubrey Deeker, Valerie Leonard and Meg Steedle.

From the playwright of Lend Me a Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo and the musical Crazy for You comes a new comedy that pays "tribute to the great English farces of the 1930s and 1940s" and "takes audiences on a hilarious romp which pulls the rug out from underneath the stuffy denizens of a private country club," according to Signature. The play is "filled with mistaken identities, slamming doors, and over-the-top romantic shenanigans, it is a furiously paced comedy that recalls the Marx Brothers' classics."

McCarthy's credits include Broadway's Urinetown, Side Show and The Pirate Queen. Twyford and Long are winners of Washington, DC's Helen Hayes Awards.

Rando is the Tony-winning director of Urinetown. His creative team includes James Kronzer (sets), Colin K. Bills (lights), Kathleen Geldard (costumes) and Matt Rowe (sound).

"One set, six characters, a crazy knockabout play set in the world of golf," Ludwig said of his new play earlier this year. "It's about two rival golf clubs and their yearly tournament. It's so much fun, and I hope touching in the style of Lend Me a Tenor." Tony Award nominee Ludwig has long proven himself a master of the madcap, and like many of his earlier works, A Fox on the Fairway is billed as a door-slamming romp, rife with mistaken identities and romantic escapades. But Ludwig uses each new project as a learning experience.

"All my comedies since Lend Me a TenorMoon Over Buffalo or Leading Ladies or Be My Baby — every one leads me to get better at my craft, to understand the whole sense of what it is to write a comic play," Ludwig told Playbill.com.

Ludwig first burst onto the theatre scene with Lend Me a Tenor, which opened to great success in London and won two Tony Awards upon its transfer to Broadway in 1989. Next up was Crazy For You (1992), choreographed by Susan Stroman, which won the Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Musical. Moon Over Buffalo (1995) brought legendary comedienne Carol Burnett back to Broadway. (He was Tony-nominated for Best Book of a Musical for Crazy for You and Best Play for Lend Me a Tenor.) Most recently, Ludwig's adaptation of Treasure Island was produced at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London in 2008. His Be My Baby, Leading Ladies, The Gershwins' An American in Paris and Shakespeare in Hollywood have played U.S. regional theatres in recent years.

For all the frenzied, screwball antics in his plays, Ludwig is philosophical about what he hopes to achieve each time he sits down to write. "I try to move the ball a little closer to a sense of sanity and humanity in our world," he said. "That's what I write. That's what our lives should be, we deserve it. We deserve sane, happy lives."

For more information visit www.signature-theatre.org.

The cast of <i>A Fox on the Fairway</i>
The cast of A Fox on the Fairway Photo by Scott Suchman
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