The Foreigner is a fun, two-act comedy by American playwright Larry Shue. The story takes place in a fishing lodge in rural Tilghman County, Georgia where two Englishmen, Froggy and Charlie, arrive as guests. The shy Charlie agreed to accompany Froggy on the trip after his sick wife begged him to go. When people at the lodge try to talk to Charlie, however, he remains silent: he is terribly shy, depressed about his wife's illness, and cannot find the words to reply. Froggy claims that Charlie cannot talk because he is a "foreigner" from an exotic country, and does not understand English. Taking the explanation that he's a non-English speaker as fact, the lodge's guests quickly begin revealing their secrets, and Charlie soon discovers scandals amongst some of the residents of the lodge.
"One reason Larry Shue's "The Foreigner" is so frequently performed is because it's one of the few modern comedies that remains true to human nature despite its absurd excesses. Another reason is that it's outrageously funny. If those aren't grounds enough to enjoy an evening at the theater, toss in the incentive of Tom Alderman's handsomely staged Pasadena Playhouse production at the Lobero Theatre as a first-rate cast guides us sure-footedly through Shue's exploration of the comic possibilities suggested by an initial false impression."
Marty Clear, writing for the Tampa Bay Times about a 2012 production, said,
"Playwrights seldom create farce these days, and theater companies seldom produce it. One reason, no doubt, is the high risk-reward ratio. Farce is frothy entertainment, but by definition it's dense and complicated. If the writing isn't scrupulously clever the plots can become muddled, and if the performances aren't precise the humor can cross the line from joyful silliness into abject stupidity. Fortunately, though, everything's right with Larry Shue's The Foreigner and its hilarious staging at American Stage."
Chicago Theater Beat called the play
"A charming comedy about the magic of kindness",and DC Theater Scene described a performance by the Bay Theatre in Annapolis, Maryland, as "a hit! ... culminating in a hilarious climax and heart-warming ending."