On Stage: Alban Arts Center goes for laughs with "Moon Over Buffalo"

Promotional poster for the Alban Arts Center production of "Moon Over Buffalo" (Courtesy: Alban Arts Center)

It's a comedy about second chances. Unfortunately, things don't always go as planned even when we get a do-over.

About a decade after his successful farce "Lend Me A Tenor," playwright Ken Ludwig went mining for laughs again in "Moon Over Buffalo."

Set in 1953, it tells the story of a pair of traveling actors doings shows in upstate New York. Charlotte Hay dreams of one day becoming a movie star, while George Hay is perfectly content performing live.

"This show revolves around a lot of misunderstandings, which is how the comedy builds," Jennifer Scott (Charlotte Hay) said. "And you've got some fun relationships between the characters. So, love gone wrong, love come back together and some generational humor, too."

When famous Hollywood director Frank Capra contacts the troupe to let them know he's looking for stars for his latest film it sets off a number of bizarre twists, mistaken identities and drunken escapades, along with new and old romances.

"George Hay is having a really bad day," Thomas Goodman (George Hay) said. "And it just compounds and compounds and compounds and kind of explodes on him at the climax of the play where there's great confusion about a very famous Hollywood director who is coming to see the show and potentially cast George and Charlotte in a rather large role. They just blow it. They absolutely blow it."

The show relies heavily on situational and physical comedy for its laughs as the cast members deliver their lines in rapid-fire fashion keeping the plot careening forward at a hectic pace.

Will George and Charlotte stay together? And if so, does their future lie on stage or the silver screen? Those questions and many more are answered in the production which was well received by critics in New York during its original 1995 run, with two of its stars nominated for Best Actor and Actress Tony Awards.

"It's a very classically styled farce," Goodman said. "You know, kind of in the Neil Simon 'Odd Couple' laugh-a-minute variety where it's madcap but it's not quite over-the-top."

"The plot of the show is kind of timeless because it's people who want to achieve something and who want to go on to a bigger venue and be big stars." Scott said. "And it seems like everything is working against them."

The Alban Arts Center presents "Moon Over Buffalo"
by Ken Ludwig
Directed by George R. Snider, III
Fri-Sat Feb 23-24 at 8pm
Matinee Sun Feb 25 at 2pm
Alban Arts Center
65 Olde Main Street in St. Albans, WV
$15 Adults / $10 Students/Seniors


Thomas Goodman-George Hay
Jennifer Scott-Charlotte Hay
Lauren Meyer-Rosalind
Stephen Hayward-Paul
Susi Cantley-Ethel
Lee Dean-Howard
Laura Michele Diener-Eileen
Anthony W. Vickers-Richard

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