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Moon Over Buffalo

a Comedy
by Ken Ludwig

COMPANY : Lionheart Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : College Street Playhouse
ID# 4629

SHOWING : September 12, 2014 - September 28, 2014



Charlotte and George Hay, an acting couple not exactly the Lunts, are on tour in Buffalo in 1953 with a repertory consisting of "Cyrano de Bergerac" in a "revised, one nostril version" and Noel Coward’s "Private Lives." This backstage farce by the author of "Lend Me a Tenor" brought Carol Burnett back to Broadway. Hilarious misunderstandings pile on madcap misadventures in this valentine to Theatre Hams everywhere.

Director Myrna Feldman
Charlotte Hay Tanya G Caldwell
Howard Greg Fitzgerald
Eileen Sarah Frey
Paul Ben Humphrey
George Hay Jerry Jobe
Ethel Marla Krohn
Richard Maynard Joseph McLaughlin
Roz Emily Stockton
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Worth More Than a Buffalo Nickel
by playgoer
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
"Moon Over Buffalo" has become one of Ken Ludwig’s most-produced plays. As befits a farce, there are people rushing through doors in rapid succession, mistaken identities, thwarted love affairs, and larger-than-life characters. Lionheart Theatre has managed to condense all the action onto its small stage and has populated it with a group of actors who do justice to all the roles.

Tim Link’s sturdy set design places the five requisite doors around the periphery and places a small set of steps in one corner. There’s one sofa and one chair, which is all that’s needed, and Nancy Keener’s props and set decoration dress the set without including elements that would cause undue alarm during the mayhem that occurs during the show. Gary White’s light design is pretty basic for most of the show, but works perfectly well for backstage action that doesn’t call for extensive light effects. His lighting of the "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "Private Lives" scenes is more atmospheric, and works wonderfully. Bob Peterson’s sound design doesn’t consist of much more than a gunshot and scene change music, but it too succeeds in its modest ambitions.

Linda Hughes’ costumes suit the period (the 1950s) and work well for the onstage dressing and undressing scenes. They don’t always suit the actors’ looks particularly well, with George’s silk ascot proving to be the least cooperative of the costume pieces. The costumes are shown to most advantage in the "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "Private Lives" segments, but they work throughout.

The play’s the thing, and director Myrna Feldman has seen to it that the comedy comes through in the action. Jerry Jobe is an energy-filled George, flinging himself whole-heartedly into his role as, so to speak, a ham with pickled relish. Tanya Caldwell balances him terrifically as his bitter half, Charlotte, using great vocal technique and wonderful reactions. Emily Stockton combines beauty and spot-on comic frustration as Roz (George and Charlotte’s daughter). Gregory Fitzgerald is a suitably befuddled Howard (Roz’s erstwhile fiancé), and Joseph McLaughlin is a suitably stuffy Richard (Charlotte’s would-be beau), while Ben Humphrey portrays a low-key, sincere Paul (Roz’s soul mate). Sarah Frey Humphrey plays the somewhat ditzy Eileen with energy, and Marla Krohn plays Charlotte’s hard-of-hearing mother (Ethel) with a comic shuffle and laugh-inducing reactions. Ms. Feldman has gotten first-rate performances out of all the cast members and has blocked the action to keep the visuals consistently interesting. A more enjoyable two hours isn’t easily found. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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