Ken Ludwig combines Cyrano de Bergerac, Private Lives and the backstage dramatic antics of two aging hams, and company to create MOON OVER BUFFALO, the farcical play which brought Carol Burnett back to Broadway after thirty years. Set in 1953, Charlotte Hay (Ann Allen) and her vainglorious husband George Hay (Steve Arcidiacono) are dangling at the end of their acting careers and their marriage, when they are suddenly presented with one last chance at being film stars in “The Twilight of The Scarlett Pimpernel”, directed by none other than Frank Capra, who is flying to Buffalo, New York to see the matinee they are performing in that very day. Only no one is completely certain which play it is that they are putting on that afternoon because of Charlotte’s partially deaf mother Ethel (Carol Robinson), or who will be playing which parts. But wait, there’s more… Ingénue Eileen (Melissa Montgomery) discovers she is pregnant, the Hay’s daughter Roz (Cassidy Dermott) has returned home, having renounced acting for advertising, to introduce her weatherman fiancé Howard (Bob Grant) who gets mistaken as Frank Capra, Charlotte has left the scene with long time family friend Richard (Gary Bullock), and Paul (Brian Miller), the company stage manager, is trying to keep it all together with duct tape and chicken wire. (Good luck with that.)
This show sports a strong cast, with a good sense of comedic tempo and focus. Anne Allen and Steve Arcidiacono as Charlotte and George are well paired as both have strong stage presence and good sense of physicality, especially Steve’s drunk act and pratfalls! Cassidy Dermott endows Roz with rich expression, and Bob Grant and Brian Miller play their roles with great timing and pluck. Gary Bullock does well as the handsome and well-to-do Richard, and Carol Robinson’s edgy Ethel is hilarious. Attention to detail both in stage business and blocking is evident throughout the show.
Set and lighting (Susan Davit) are appropriate and clever, and costumes (Chris Jackson, Barbara Cosgrove and Liz Amey) were quite convincing. Kudos to the technical and stage crews of this production for the overall gloss of the show.
MOON OVER BUFFALO as directed by Michele Nevin is a farce of the funniest kind chock full of mistaken identities, criss-crossed lovers, quirky quips, people running in and out of various doors, slapstick and pratfalls, plot twists, people in closets, culminating into (unbelievable) mayhem and some serious laughter. And that’s no bull!
MOON OVER BUFFALO
by Ken Ludwig
Directed by Michele Nevin
May 4 – 19, 2012
Narbeth Community Theatre
206 Price Avenue
Narberth, PA 19072