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"Moon Over Buffalo" faces farce for bemused amusement

Staff writer

Something is not quite shticking with “Moon Over Buffalo.”

The farce, through Oct. 6 at Coral Springs' Stage Door Theatre, before moving to the Byron Carlyle Theatre in Miami Beach (Oct. 11-Nov. 3),  gets a good workout from the cast and the production values are top-notch.

But even with seasoned pros hamming up the script by Ken Ludwig, better known for “Lend Me a Tenor,” the sense of madcap comedy seems to require laborious lifting, and everyone from the actors onstage to the amused-then-bemused audience is exhausted from the effort.

The performances have to be plenty broad in order to power the Rube Goldberg-like plot. In 1953, George and Charlotte Hay are a down-at-the-heels acting duo doing repertory work in a seedy Buffalo theater. They have one last shot at stardom. All they have to do is negotiate around a weatherman mistaken for Frank Capra, a drunken womanizer, a deaf grandmother, a lonely lawyer and costume confusion.

On the plus side, the show moves briskly at about 90 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission. On the negative side, some of the actors pick one voice pitch and stick to it. How I longed for one or two of them to vocally leap off a high comedy cliff and land at the bottom of a basso basin.

“Moon Over Buffalo” at Stage Door Theatre, 8036 Sample Road, in Coral Springs. Tickets cost $38 ($16 for students). Call 954-344-7765 or go to StageDoorTheatre.com.

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