EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ–Unlike their dramatic counterparts that endure the test of time, stage comedies face a dilemma: how to remain fresh and funny decades after they’ve been written.
Director Dave McGrath overcomes this with his hilarious interpretation of Ken Ludwig’s “Moon Over Buffalo.”
Upstate New York during the 1950’s is where we find married and near washed up actors George and Charlotte Hay, played with wonderful chemistry by Joe Zedeny and Mary Sullivan.
From Jeffery in The Lion in Winter to Mendel in Fiddler on the Roof, Zedeny has never given an under par performance. Last Friday, Mr. Zedeny was at his best.
Sharing the stage as the matriarch of the madcap Hay family, is Sullivan. Being funny and keeping it simple in front of an audience requires lots of stagecraft and instinctive sense of timing. Mary gave her audience both.
Ashley Widmer as daughter Rosalind, the voice of reason in this wacky family had me laughing out loud during the private lives balcony spoof.
The rest of the cast, Deby Brent as Ethel, Eric Hackler as Howard, Ashely Kipness as Eileen, Robert H. Goodwin as Richard and Fred Hadden as Paul, gave it their all with solid comic performances.
One hiccup in this well-done stage comedy was a long scene change during act two that had audience members checking their smart phones.
Moon Over Buffalo runs through March 9 at Playhouse 22 in the East Brunswick Community Arts Center at 721 Cranbury Road. For more information and ticket prices, call 732-254-3939 or visit playhouse22.org.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.