Packed with wild twists and turns, Ken Ludwig’s zany comedy, ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ revs up an exciting story full of hasty decisions, romance, and even a case of mistaken identity under the roof of a repertory theatre in Buffalo, New York. Directed by Stacia O’Brien who introduces the show, Bay Players of Duxbury had merely six weeks to prepare ‘Moon Over Buffalo,’ but with a seamless flow and the cast’s mastery of the material, no one would ever know. This sharp comedy gradually takes on a life on its own and leaves audiences laughing out loud.
Two performances left to see The Bay Players of Duxbury’s production of ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29 at 8 p.m. Performances take place at First Parish Church, 842 Tremont Street, (Rte 3A) in Duxbury, Massachusetts. Visit bayplayers.org for more information!
The stage is simply set as a brown leather couch sits center stage, glittery costumes and boas are strewn around an occupied dressing room, and a blackboard hangs on the wall. Set in 1953, ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ explores the lives of Charlotte (Laura Howerton) and George Hay (Ted Lillys), two film stars who need one last production to bring them back into the spotlight, only to find that stardom can be funny and more elusive than they ever expected.
What starts out as order and practicality, quickly unravels into an emotional rollercoaster, involving each cast member. George Hay, played with a bit of a bumbling wit by Ted Lillys, possesses a fiery chemistry with Charlotte, played with sass by Laura Howerton. George and Charlotte Hay have a passionate relationship – either they are madly in love or at each other’s throats.
Through each thunderous step, smirk, and grin, Lillys and Howerton are impulsive and likable as they deliver Ken Ludwig’s simmering dialogue. In a white T-shirt, khaki pants, and disheveled hair, George makes decisions swiftly and hastily. Charlotte, dressed in a flowery dress, depicts a seemingly demure housewife who is anything but.
Pauline Devlin gives a sophisticated and levelheaded performance as George and Charlotte’s overwhelmed daughter, Roz. What makes Devlin’s portrayal of Roz so fascinating is in every head toss and nervous smile, she exposes a complex history of her character. With slick black hair, black glasses and bowtie, Chris Soule is captivating as Howard, possessing a hint of Jerry Lewis’s fidgety charm.
Ethel, played with equal amounts of sarcasm and naiveté by Marie Miller, is a scene stealer in her brief scenes. Carol Burnett originated the role when the show debuted on Broadway in 1995, and Miller does a wonderful job with her own distinct portrayal.
A character in ‘Moon over Buffalo’ remarks, ‘Theatre is the lifeline to humanity.’ Through this show’s portrayal of family dysfunction and a tumult of emotions while discovering the humor in it all, ‘Moon over Buffalo’ has never made theatre so lively and this statement so true.