Moon Over Buffalo
by Klein Collins High School

Emily Quartaro and Daniel Kelly. Photo by R. Bruhn Photography.One glance at this eccentric family of theatre artists and it’s perfectly clear why levelheaded Rosalind wants to escape from the madness by marrying relatively more stable TV weatherman Howard. It’s also equally clear why she loves her eccentric theatre family in spite of herself.

Klein Collins High School’s production of Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo is the comedic treat of the 2007 Thespian Festival with a great script and an outstanding cast directed by Gary Cooper. The story is set in 1953 when married actors George and Charlotte Hay are starring opposite each other once again for in-rep productions of Private Lives and Cyrano de Bergerac. And they’re doing it in style in the theatre capital of the world – New York. Buffalo, New York. A fact that is causing some stress as they pine for another hit before their careers are over, dreaming of landing the lead roles in the upcoming film version of The Scarlet Pimpernel to be directed by Frank Capra.

Adding even more stress, George has to admit to a one-nighter with Eileen, an attractive young actress in their shows who has missed a period – a development that initiates a chain of events resulting in Charlotte accepting the courtship of lawyer and long-time admirer Richard Maynard, George getting drunk, and the upcoming matinee being scuttled. A matinee that Frank Capra is suddenly flying out to see.

A great cast is led by a couple of outstanding leads with remarkable chemistry and talent. Emily Quartaro plays Charlotte with a brilliant sense for the comedy and character – a hysterical and captivating presence who makes you laugh every time you see her temper begin to smolder (when really angry, she can wield a rolled-up Variety magazine with deadly precision). Daniel Kelly is her match as George Hay, a marvelous physical comedian whether drunk of sober who has spot-on timing.

Blaire Borochoff and Justin Barbin. Photo by R. Bruhn Photography.Supporting characters include a couple other whacky roles. Kirstie Lard is a hoot as Charlotte’s hard-of-hearing mother Ethel who uses her body language and voice to excellent effect. Justin Barbin is superbly nerdy, awkward, and nervous (with good reason) as Howard, the fiancé of Charlotte and George’s daughter, who will be traumatized by his encounter with the potential in-laws. In the straighter roles, Blaire Borochoff is the head-on-her-shoulders daughter Rosalind with some family craziness lurking just below her serene surface. Garrett Zwiener is Paul, theatre stage manager and former boyfriend who wants to bring that quirky side of Rosalind back out. Taylor Schackmann is the emotionally high-strung and recently impregnated Eileen. Philip Wiles is stuffy lawyer-in-love Richard Maynard.

The show takes place within an impressive set of the Buffalo theatre’s green room and the double balcony scene of Private Lives. Director Gary Cooper keeps the pace on an ebb and flow that maximizes the show’s rich humor, and keeps the audience busting up over the misadventures in Buffalo.

Performed June 29, 2007.

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~
Garrett Zwiener, Blaire Borochoff, Emily Quartaro, and Kirstie Lard. Photo by R. Bruhn Photography.George Hay: Daniel Kelly
Charlotte Hay: Emily Quartaro
Rosalind Hay: Blaire Borochoff
Howard: Justin Barbin
Paul Singer: Garrett Zwiener
Ethel: Kirstie Lard
Richard Maynard: Philip Wiles
Eileen: Taylor Schackmann
Soldier #1/Understudy: Audrey Starks
Soldier #2/Understudy: Meagan Mena
Soldier #3/Understudy: Brandon Connor
De Guiche: Trey Kroon

Director: Gary Cooper
Stage Manager: Shey Lusco
Sound Crew Head: Michael Deihs
Light Crew Head: Jacob Gleason
Set Crew Head: Austin Hirsch
Costume Crew Head: Paige Strother
Prop Crew Heads: Garret Tallerine and Jackson Perrin

Photos by R. Bruhn Photography:


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