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'The Foreigner' Right at Home At Oakton

Carolyn Darville, a student at Bishop Ireton High School reviews Oakton's "The Foreigner."

What better way to spend a Friday night than to learn a language, talk with a foreigner and learn some dark secrets?

That opportunity presented itself during Oakton's production of "The Foreigner," a comedy by Larry Shue. It's the story of a young man, Charlie Barker (Christopher North), who pretends to be a foreigner while staying at a fishing lodge in rural Georgia so he can avoid speaking to anyone.

Charlie receives more than he bargains for when fellow visitors begin to confide in him their dark secrets, thinking he doesn't understand English.

The play is well executed by the cast. As Charlie, North displayed a shy charisma in the beginning and progressed into his comic personality toward the end. That made his characterization and focus very apparent. His dedication did not cease even when he was not speaking.

The charming and kind Betty Meeks (Julie Kann) illuminated the stage with her confidence, endearing Southern accent and witty intrigue with Charlie.

Other supporting roles contributed to the play. Albert Anderson played Ellard Simms with dedication and heart. His mannerisms, speech and comedic timing brought many laughs. Ellard's scene with Charlie at breakfast was nothing short of brilliant.

Froggy (Ross McEwen) was energetic and lively. The cast never ceased to give up its comedic timing.

The set, designed by Anthony Schiavo, had the rustic, quaint feel of a fishing shack. It was enhanced by realistic props and effects by Kathryn Wherry, Robin Parrish and Shannon Johnson.

Makeup by Allison Hicks and Patrick Fulghum worked well, especially helping to age Betty. Lighting by Raquel Garces and Jacki Chiu was implemented promptly at the correct times. Sound by Elyse Grossberg and Taylor Vogelzang proved to be beneficial with scrutinized cues.

The Oakton troupe did a commendable job with its characterization, energy and dedication, proving that pretending to be someone you are not can develop interesting character traits and wild, amusing rides.

By Washington Post Editors  |  November 13, 2008; 12:29 PM ET
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