Moon Over Buffalo | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Moon Over Buffalo 

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Moon Over Buffalo, Stage Right Dinner Theatre. The success of a farce is generally gauged by how much the audience laughs. By that measure, the matinee performance I saw of Stage Right Dinner Theatre's Moon Over Buffalo, directed by Catherine Davis, was a failure. Set on the road with a touring production led by two aging stars who believe Frank Capra is coming to offer them one last chance at movie stardom, Ken Ludwig's script brims with slamming doors, shrill yelling, mistaken identities, drunkenness, recently discovered affairs, and the confusion of the hard of hearing. Yet the only time this production really shows a sense of fun is in the joint first entrance of Jody Goldman and Peter Verdico as Charlotte and George Hay. The duo brings great dramatic flair to the scene, taunting and teasing each other as an affectionate married couple; we enjoy seeing them play together. In the second act, Goldman also does some fine fury and confused double takes, while Tom Moore has a few bright moments after he eases into his supporting role as the Hays' daughter's fiance. But the rest of the show feels labored, as Davis and her cast set every joke up so obviously that it's impossible to laugh.

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