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Moon Over Buffalo
by Ken Ludwig (Goodreads Author)
Comedy / 4m, 4f / Unit set Charlotte and George Hay, an acting couple not exactly the Lunts are on tour in Buffalo in 1953 with a repertory consisting of Cyrano de Bergerac "revised, one nostril version" and Noel Coward's Private Lives. This backstage farce by the author of Lend Me a Tenor brought Carol Burnett back to Broadway co-starring with Philip Bosco as her megaloma ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published May 7th 2010 by Samuel French, Inc.
(first published 1995)
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Set in the 1950's America, this comedic play-within-a-play is rife with slapstick and situational humor, backstage shenanigans, and dysfunctional family dynamics.
This eight person production centers around a traveling theatrical couple, George and Charlotte--whose marriage is on the rocks, along with their fading careers. Charlotte has ambitious dreams of breaking into Hollywood, while her husband seems content in his alcohol-addled, philandering ways. The inciting incident? George receives a ca ...more
Moon Over Buffalo has a special place in my heart (Mainly because I had the pleasure of performing in a production of it). It is story of the Hay’s; a family of traveling actors and how one mistake by the leading man has the possibility to break the troupe apart. Ludwig’s characters are crazy; they do everything to the extreme. Most likely comes from their actor roots, because we all know actors are theatrical. Drunken performances, secret affairs, and tied up weathermen, this play is laugh out ...more
This play was an absolute gas. The dialogue was lighting-quick and the stage direction even more so. I picked it up because it took place in Buffalo, NY, a former stomping ground, and that was a payoff in itself. The digs at the wee city are hilarious and clever. The action between the characters was reminiscent of Philadelphia Story (a la Hepburn, Stewart and Grant). I just loved it and would be thrilled to see it on stage. I am sure small companies stay away from it because it would require pr ...more
As a theatregoer, I like a well-done farce. It's a guilty pleasure but one that most audiences seem to share. Ken Ludwig's backstage farce "Moon Over Buffalo" isn't as dark or as viscerally uncomfortable as the more famous "Noises Off," but it packs laughs, quick entrances and exits, misunderstandings, prop work and all the other essential elements of a satisfying farce, complete with a happy ending.
One of my favorite plays. It's witty, and the banter between George and Scarlet is genuinely funny. The surprise unintended pregnancy makes the plot into that of kind of a sitcom, but the play is still intelligent. Of course, the jokes appeal more to an older crowd, who can still remember the 1950's, and, therefore, it will soon be dated. However, I think it's laugh out loud funny and the writing and commentary on the theatre business is great.
I enjoyed this play from the moment I finished the first scene on a plane ride home from the edinburgh fringe festival. The humor is just so accessible, it doesn't even need a great actor to get the humor of the script across, which is a sign of really good comedic play writing, at least for me. I had the joy of playing Eileen last fall and although a part on the smaller side, it was so fun to be apart of a play that demands as much energy as this play.
OK, the farce placed backstage among crazies trying to make theater is hardly a new idea, but this has to be one of the best examples. A dysfunctional family troupe faces a variety of crises: keeping the troupe going, even if they have to play Buffalo; mom and dad's infidelities; daughter's defection to the non-theater world; and the remote hope that they might get parts in a Frank Capra film. Many doors are slammed, many identities are mistaken, and there is much drunkenness along the way.
So funny, but not for high school. You'd have to explain too much of it and it's too long for my taste. I can shove them through 50 pages but not 120! Plus I steer away from make out scenes. I'm not gonna make someone's momma mad at me...
KEN LUDWIG is an internationally-acclaimed playwright whose work has been performed in more than 30 countries in over 20 languages. He has had 6 shows on Broadway and 6 in the West End. He has won two Laurence Olivier Awards, two Helen Hayes Awards, the Edgar Award, the SETC Distinguished Career Award, the Edwin Forrest Award for Services to the Theatre and he is a McCarter/Sallie B. Goodman Fello ...moreMore about Ken Ludwig...