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By Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal
Special to The Village News 

'Moon Over Buffalo' is wacky but fun


Last updated 1/23/2019 at 6:09pm

For those readers not yet born in the 1950s, here are a few interesting facts about that period. The first color television went on sale. The Korean War ended. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned as the new monarch of England. And the average price of a home was $9,550.

“Moon Over Buffalo” is set in 1953. It is like stepping out of a time capsule.

Farce is usually linked with the Brits. Except this wacky show was written by the successful American playwright Ken Ludwig sometime around 1995. It opened with Carol Burnett as the leading lady, bringing her back to the stage after a 30-year retirement.

It’s a zany and chaotic play-in-a-play about an aging husband and wife acting duo trying to hold on to their fading careers.

No longer on the A-list circuit, they are now playing in Buffalo, New York, hundreds of miles from Broadway. Having slogged through their first rehearsal for today’s matinee of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” the cast soon becomes agitated by circumstances occurring within the troupe.

The action bounces between the Green Room and the matinee performance with lots of door slamming, innuendo, mugging and double takes. It isn’t until after the intermission that the audience finally catches up with the action.

Matthew Wiener directed Brittney Bertier, Josh Braaten, Roxane Carrasco, Katrina Ferguson, Arthur Hanket, Matthew Salazar-Thompson, Arusi Santi and Jacque Wilke through this romp.

The nifty set was designed by the ever so talented Marty Burnett. Melanie Chen Cole’s sound design apparently didn’t work because a few actors spoke loudly. It just seemed early on they were shouting.

Elisa Benzoni nailed the costumes, and Matt Novotny scored again at the lights. Peter Herman did the hair and wigs, while Benjamin Cole choreographed the fight scenes.

The hardworking cast earns every chuckle, guffaw and out-right belly laugh. It is wonderfully silly. Other reviewers refer to it as “madcap.” Regardless, it is a fun way to spend a few hours. Dust off your funny bone and prepare to be entertained.

“Moon Over Buffalo” is playing until Feb. 10 at the North Coast Repertory Theater in Solana Beach, 987 Lomas Santa Fe, Suite D. For tickets, call (858) 481-1055 or visit Lots of free parking. Rated 7.5 out of 10.

Elizabeth Youngman-Wesphal can be reached at


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