Moon Over Buffalo
George and Charlotte Hay are an acting couple (well, theirs is not quite the Lunt-Fontanne partnership) on tour in Buffalo in 1953, performing a repertory of Cyrano de Bergerac and Private Lives. Just after their relationship is threatened when George dallies with a young ingénue, they learn that famed director Frank Capra is coming to Buffalo to see their matinee performance – and possibly star them in his movie remake of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Unfortunately, it seems like everything that could go wrong does, and hilarious misunderstandings ensue.
This and next week, Playhouse South presents that story in the farce Moon Over Buffalo, written by Ken Ludwig (famed author of Lend Me a Tenor). The original production marked Carol Burnett’s return to Broadway and opened in 1995; since it’s been described as a combination of Waiting for Guffman and Noises Off, the show’s humor and success are not surprising.
A common element to Moon Over Buffalo, Waiting for Guffman, and those other shows I mentioned is the community aspect of theatre, which aligns well with PHS’s mission and goals. Actor Megan Cooper, who is new to PHS but very involved in other Dayton theatres (and in leadership with jumpstART), observed that every person in Moon Over Buffalo has a different reason for being in the show and brings a different level of experience, yet are brought together by their common passion for the collaboration and art of theatre. She added, discussing her positive experience with the show,
“People who have that much passion are great to work with.”
PHS considers itself a theatre that hinges on both the passion of participants and audience members, and strives to “get people involved in our love of theatre” (Rob Breving, Publicity).
Cooper (Roz Hay) and Breving (Paul Singer) are both cast members in this production, along with Geoff Burkman (George Hay), Joanne Augenstein (Charlotte Hay), Brad Bishop (Howard), Lisa Carter (Eileen), Terry Lupp (Ethel) and Rick Johnson (Richard Maynard). Dayton theatre veteran Jim Lockwood (2008 inductee into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame) directs, and Dawn Roth-Smith produces. Not only are those involved in the production a community, but audience members will find one in this show as well. Breving said,
“Being theatregoers, the audience will relate with the characters or know people like them,”
Alongside of that “community” emphasis, PHS is really working to move forward in quality and talent, and therefore recently named Dawn Roth-Smith and Human Race resident actor Alan Bomar Jones as co-artistic directors. The theatre hopes that Moon Over Buffalo will engage and connect with audience members and be one step towards achieving those goals.
Those things aside, this show promises to be funny and enjoyable. Breving described,
“The cast has worked very hard and is truly having so much fun… It’s a show for anyone that needs a good laugh and a reminder not to take ourselves too seriously.”
WIN TICKETS TO MOON OVER BUFFALO!
Playhouse South & onStageDayton on DaytonMostMetro.com have teamed up to give you a chance to win tickets to this fun show! We will be giving away up to three pairs of tickets! All you need to do is:
(creativity counts in this forum…but we’ll be selecting winners randomly Monday morning when Bill rolls into the office!)
Moon Over Buffalo runs from October 15 – 23, with performances at 8:00 on Fridays/Saturdays and 2:00 on Sunday. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (over 60) and $7 for students. For more information and reservations, please call the Box Office at 888-262-3792 or visit http://www.playhousesouth.org.
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Katherine Nelson is a senior theatre major at Cedarville University who focuses on performance, playwriting, and stage management. She’s the Literary Intern with locally based Encore Theater Company, where contributors Shane Anderson and David Brush also work. The local theater company recently moved into the new arts collective space in the Oregon Arts District, along with Zoot Theatre Co & Rhythm In Shoes. Encore Theater Company has a mission to help develop new works of musical theater, most recently Next Thing You Know and The Proof, two new musicals in development.