Moon Over Buffalo
By Jenna Raymond
Very often, comedies can be overdone. Characters can seem generic and ridiculous as the entire plot grows to completely unrealistic proportions. However, under the direction of Debra Krajec, Marquette University’s production of Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo is nuanced, seamless and zany in the best way.
The action takes place behind the scenes of a traveling theatre company in Buffalo, NY in the early 1950s. George and Charlotte Hay head up the company that used to employee their daughter, Rosiland. She has since left to lead a “normal” life outside the theatre, including a weatherman fiancée, Howard. Rosiland returns to introduce Howard to her family, only to find that her father has impregnated another company member; her ex-lover is still in love with her; and the family attorney wants to run away with her mother. And then Frank Capra calls to say he needs to re-cast his next movie immediately and will fly out to catch their matinee as an audition for George and Charlotte. Mistaken identities, chases, missing persons and frantic confusion ensue.
Comedy is often much more difficult to perform than drama. Timing really is just about everything and the entire cast hit nearly everything spot on. Comedic acting is mostly talent with excellent guidance, and director Debra Krajec chose an apt cast that benefited from her experience and instruction. Marquette University opened its 2008-2009 season with a high benchmark. If Moon Over Buffalo is indicative of the kind of theatre Marquette is capable of this season, their theatre department should be regarded on the same level as some of Milwaukee’s professional theatre.
Moon Over Buffalo runs through October 5 at the Helfaer Theatre on Marquette University’s campus. For tickets or more information call 414.288.7504 or visit Marquette’s Theatre department website at: www.marquette.edu/theatre.