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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ludwig Lends His Signature Form to Signature Theater

Last night, I was fortunate enough to sit behind Tony Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig (Crazy for You, Lend Me a Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo) at a dress rehearsal for his new farce, "A Fox on the Fairway" at the Signature Theatre. The play stars the always wonderful Holly Twyford, following up her incredible turn at Signature last year in The Little Dog Laughed. First of all, I have to say that I miss the huge chessboard and pieces outside Signature. That seemed to be a great crowd gatherer and would still be even without Chess playing on stage. (I'm still humming music from that.) Anway, Ludwig has to be one of the nicest "major talents" that I have ever met. I was just helping out there and he introduced himself to me so kindly. He still lives in Washington, despite his many travels to New York and London. It's not fair to review the play at this point in the process. But Ludwig proves again that he is a master of farce, throwing everything in there--numerous doors, mistaken identity, crazy timing, physical pratfalls, unknown relatives, neatly tied together ending--to create an entertaining evening. He told some audience members that he was playing golf with his friend Harry Teeter when the friend suggested that golf could be a pretty funny subject for the play. There was a great "in joke" towards the end when a character started naming members of their golf club. Teeter was one of them, Eric Shaffer, head of Signature another. We're fortunate that Ludwig and Twyford contribute like this to the Washington stage scene. This may not be his best play, but it's original, new, fun and wonderfully acted.

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