Group Rep Theatre’s production of Ken Ludwig’s Moon over Buffalo highlights the lovely but loco world of the theatre through charming whimsy and fine performances. The show combines action, one-liners, and romance in a farce of theatrical proportions.
The struggling Hays (Chris Winfield and Suzy London) perform “hack versions of popular theater classics” to pay the bills, but a potential visit by film director Frank Capra turns everything upside down.
The cast gives excellent performances, possessing fine chemistry with each other. London is a fiery and conceited Charlotte Hay, throwing off sparks with Winfield’s sexy, conceited George. Allison King brings touching vulnerability to the questioning Rosalind, and Gwen Van Dam almost steals the show with her hilarious one-liners. Derek Mehn as Paul and Ben Campbell as Howard perform with zest.
Director Drina Durazo successfully adds nice energy and tempo to the proceedings. A few places tend to drag a little bit, but she keeps the balls juggling nicely between comic frenzy and seductive patter. Timing is spot on in the hilarious and frenetic chase sequences, and dramatic entrances and exits spotlight the overconfident hams.
Durazo gains fine work from her production staff, who create an elegant and eclectic look to the presentation. Angela Eads’ sexy costumes fit the period. Set design work by Durazo and Winfield captures the exuberant zaniness of the Hay family while adding realism. Jazmin Lopez’s lighting work adds a splash of color.
Moon over Buffalo features hilarity and hijinks as it celebrates the theatrical world.
Group Rep Theatre presents Moon over Buffalo Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through June 24 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre located at 10900 Burbank Blvd. in North Hollywood. Tickets cost $15-$22; please visit www.thegrouprep.com or call (818) 763-5990 to purchase them.