Country clubbers aim for laughs in ‘The Fox on The Fairway’

North Coast Repertory Theatre tackles Ken Ludwig’s golf-centric farce

Playwright Ken Ludwig said he wrote “The Fox on The Fairway” as a reminder of the values a traditional farce embodies — innocence, humor, good sportsmanship and honor. The North Coast Rep cast in this comedy present these elements so well, audiences will want to see it again.

The Quail Valley Country Club is about to participate in the yearly golf tournament against rivals at Crouching Squirrel Country Club. New assistant Justin (kyle Sorrell) and wait-staffer Louise (Ashley Stults) — he a bundle of nerves and she slightly ditzy but good-natured — chase each other through one door in and out another as they attempt to connect in the club bar.

Bingham (Kevin Bailey) and Dickie (Brian Salmon), directors of the opposing country clubs, enter the room where silly talk transpires between them as club board member Pamela (Jacquelyn Ritz), sashays her way through the room. “Golf and sex are the only things you can enjoy without being good at them,” she tells the audience.

Shortly after Justin and Louise are alone in the clubroom he proposes to her. Louise accepts and gleefully jumps into his arms just as boss Bingham enters the room. Disturbed by their behavior and considering they both work for him, he weighs firing Justin, but the couple charm him against it.

The next occurrences snowball to create challenges for Bingham. Dickie has made a bet with him that involves property owned by Bingham’s horrendously formidable wife, Muriel (Roxane Carrasco).

Bingham is sure his club will win as they have the best pro player. Then Dickie reveals that overnight he has signed that player to his team.

The cast is amazing. Sorrell energetically depicts Justin’s highs and lows with his stuttering, nervous ticks and ambitions to do the right thing for the boss and his girlfriend. Ritz plays Pamela’s sultry ways and flirtatious moves with Bingham so well they could have been the sole characters and drawn raves.

Salmon infuses Dickie with a naughty way of tricking his friends and foes into agreeing to anything. Stults portrays Louise as a giggly, naïve girl whose emotions are worn on her sleeve — just what playwright Ludwig intended.

All bets ride as Muriel (Roxanne Carrasco), who has anger issues with both Dickie (a former lover) and her husband Bingham (who has eyes for Pamela), enters the scene. Her golf cart is ready to roll over all of these falible folks! Fore! u

IF YOU GO: “The Fox on The Fairway” runs through Oct. 11 at the North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. Tickets from $43, (858) 481-1055.