The Bus Barn Stage Company production of Ken Ludwig’s “Moon Over Buffalo” opened May 20 under an almost full moon in Los Altos.
Lunacy ensues with people entering and exiting the stage at breakneck speed. The hilarity includes ex-lovers, a domestic crisis, mistaken identities and misunderstandings. The opening-night audience laughed out loud at lines such as “Buffalo – it’s like Scranton, but without the charm.”
George and Charlotte Hays were once famous acting thespians now past their prime, and their marriage is falling apart due to George’s infidelity. The couple desperately wants to impress Frank Capra who is expected to be in the audience in search of a leading man for his upcoming movie.
Louis Schilling and Patricia Tyler exuberantly play George and Charlotte, respectively, a couple aspiring to regain their fame and fortune. This is Schilling’s first appearance at Bus Barn, but he has performed extensively in plays and opera. Tyler was in the Bus Barn production of “Bus Stop” and also performs puppetry, improvisation and mime.
Jillian Cummings, who directs for Los Altos Youth Theater, is convincing as the Hays’ strong-minded daughter, Rosalind.
Manuel Carneri plays Howard, Rosalind’s clueless fiance and Jeff Newton is Paul, the stage manager
Judith Long is delightfully zany as Charlotte’s mother Ethel who doesn’t always wear her hearing aid and consequently gets words and meanings jumbled.
Emelyn Hicks, a Foothill College student, plays Eileen, the ingenue who has a brief affair with George and thinks she is pregnant. Dan Roach is Richard, the theater lawyer from New York who is in love with Charlotte and wants to sweep her away.
Director Ana-Catrina Buchser keeps the casts’ crazy antics moving with perfect timing and quick stage changes. A native of Romania, this is her directing debut at Bus Barn.
An audience member pointed out that “the moon over Los Altos won’t be full again until mid-June,” but don’t wait that long to see this show.
“Moon Over Buffalo” closes June 18. For tickets, times and more information, call 941-0551 or visit www.busbarn.org.