John Szablewski Previews

First Look: ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ at Niagara Regional Theatre Guild

The farce is one of the oldest forms of theatre. Mistaken identities, inconceivable situations, lots of door slamming, and deep belly laughs. Farces are shows that keep the audience on the edge of their seats in hysterics, and keep the actors out of breath. Over the top characters, lots of mugging, and breaking the fourth wall are very common in these types of shows. Luckily for audience members, the Niagara Regional Theatre Guild is mounting a farce that is sure to keep you laughing. “Moon Over Buffalo,” by Ken Ludwig, took Broadway by storm in 1993 when it premiered, bringing Carol Burnett back to the Great White Way.

“I was not aware of the show until I was asked to direct it,” laughs Gary Gaffney who is directing the production, “I love to direct comedy, so when I was asked to do it, I gave it a read and loved everything about it.”

The show tells the story of a traveling repertory theatre group who is visiting Buffalo, New York in the 50s, and who all believe that Frank Capra is coming to see their production to cast two leads in his next big motion picture. Timing couldn’t have been worse because whatever can go wrong does go wrong. An affair, an interesting coffee recipe, a deaf grandmother, a clueless fiance, and a scheduling mishap cause for a night at the theatre that none of the characters will ever forget.

“This show is challenging,” says Gaffney, “there is a ton of chaos that happens on stage that needs to be organized so that the audience thinks it’s chaos, but the actors are in full control.”

The rehearsal process is grueling, timing is everything. “With every comedy, the timing is one of the most important things, and we needed to make sure that every door slam, every comic bit, every line, was delivered to get as many laughs as possible,” says Gaffney. “I have a great group of actors who are working very hard.”

The show is sure to get laughs. ”The cast has some trouble keeping it together during rehearsal because the show is so funny,” says Gaffney. “I know the audience will feel the same way. They will be able to clear their worries away for a few hours and will probably have sour cheeks from laughing so much.”

“Moon Over Buffalo” opens March 15, 2019 and runs until March 31. It is presented at Niagara Regional Theatre Guild’s Ellicott Creek Playhouse (The former St Edmunds). For more information, click here.