Scott Schwartz, who has made his name as a director of musicals, will try his hand at Larry Shue's durable comedy The Foreigner in an Aug. 13-31 Berkshire Theatre Festival revival.
The play's "foreigner" is Charlie Baker, an Englishman so shy that, in order to avoid communication with the guests at a Georgia fishing lodge, he pretends to not understand English. This ruse, however, makes him privy to some information he perhaps ought not to know.
Peter Scolari, of "Bosom Buddies" and "Newhart" fame, will play the title character. Featured in the supporting cast are James Barbour, lately of Jane Eyre on Broadway, and Kevin Cahoon, a onetime Hedwig.
Schwartz directed both Batboy and tick, tick....BOOM! in 2001. Since then, he's helmed The Castle at Manhattan Theatre Ensemble and Henry Krieger and Bill Russell's Kept in Palo Alto, CA.
Larry Shue, a New Orleans native, first found fame as a playwright at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. He died prematurely in an airplane accident in the 1985, but not before two of his scripts, The Nerd and The Foreigner, were established as hits. Both enjoyed successful New York runs—The Foreigner Off-Broadway, The Nerd on Broadway—and have since been produced countless times in the regions. Jerry Zaks directed The Foreigner Off-Broadway, where it ran nearly two years at the Astor Place Theatre. Anthony Heald played Charlie. Shue himself played the supporting role of "Froggy" LaSueur. Also in the cast were future playwright Robert Schenkkan, Patricia Kalember, Kevin Geer and, in a bit part, Donna Bullock.
—By Robert Simonson