Jan 22, 2019
by Alexa Chipman
‘Moon Over Buffalo’is a slapstick farce set backstage of a rundown theater. In a final bid for stardom, a married couple must set their differences aside to appear in ‘Private Lives’ and impress a visiting director from Hollywood. Their nervous preparations explode into chaos due to a series of melodramatic twists leading to a catastrophic performance.
Playwright Ken Ludwig’s deliberately campy style is unoriginal, but adequate for a fluffy comedy. Laughs emerge throughCarl Jordan’s direction of physical comedy and an energetic cast willing to fling themselves recklessly across the stage. Jason Jamerson’s scenic design is put to good use, with doors opening and slamming as characters dash about. His placement of vintage posters reiterates the 1953 setting, along with Marcy Frank’s superb costumes.
After a long career, George (Dodds Delzell) and Charlotte (Madeleine Ashe) have settled into a touring theater company, performing the roles they adore and trying to ignore their failure in cinema. Crotchety and slightly pompous, Delzell’s George is relatable, with natural charisma. His banter with Ethel (Shirley Nilsen Hall) is delightfully sarcastic.
Chandler Parrott-Thomas as the flighty Rosalind comes into her own with the second act ‘Private Lives’ balcony scene, desperately ad-libbing the famous play. Parrott-Thomas captures the inflated poise that was admired in women, deftly poking fun at expectations with her dainty, stiff poses straight out of a “My Home” magazine.
There appears to be miscommunication regarding the level of “hamming it up” in this production, which ranges from hilarious exaggerated expressions from Erik Weiss (Howard) to a tasteful, subdued performance by Robert Nelson (Paul). The uneven style is distracting at times, which diminishes the overall effect.
‘Moon Over Buffalo’ is entertaining, with stand-out moments of comedy. If you are looking for a breezy, feel-good evening, it fits the bill.
Presented by 6th Street Playhouse through February 3, 2019
Fri/Sat at 7:30pm, Sat/Sun at 2:00pm, Thursday January 24 at 7:30pm
Tickets: $28-30 general, $26-28 senior, $30 under 30
Photos by Eric Chazankin
Author Website - http://imaginationlane.net
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