Ken Ludwig's Moon Over Buffalo

by  Ken Ludwig

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  4m, 4f

Charlotte and George Hay are on tour in Buffalo in 1953 with a repertory consisting of Cyrano de Bergerac"revised, one nostril version" and Noel Coward's Private Lives, when they receive word that they might just have one last shot at stardom: Frank Capra is coming to town to see their matinee.

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Ken Ludwig's Moon Over Buffalo

Ken Ludwig's Moon Over Buffalo

by  Ken Ludwig

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 4f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Farce
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Broadway
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Scene work
    • UIL Approved
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

In the madcap comedy tradition of Lend Me a Tenor, the hilarious Moon Over Buffalo centers on George and Charlotte Hay, fading stars of the 1950s. At the moment, they’re playing Private Lives and Cyrano De Bergerac in rep in Buffalo, New York with five actors. On the brink of a disastrous split-up caused by George’s dalliance with a young ingénue, they receive word that they might just have one last shot at stardom: Frank Capra is coming to town to see their matinee, and if he likes what he sees, he might cast them in his movie remake of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Unfortunately for George and Charlotte, everything that could go wrong does go wrong, abetted by a visit from their daughter’s clueless fiancé and hilarious uncertainty about which play they’re actually performing, caused by Charlotte’s deaf, old stage-manager mother who hates every bone in George’s body.
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Reviews

REVIEWS

"Somewhere up above, George S. Kaufman, Abe Burrows, Moss Hart and all those clever fellows who wrote the comedies of yesteryear are rolling with laughter, echoing the audience last night at Moon Over Buffalo. The play is nothing less than a love letter to live theater." - Boston Herald

"Ken Ludwig's Moon Over Buffalo tops the mayhem and pitch-perfect farce of his other hit, Lend Me a Tenor." - Orange County Register

"Moon Over Buffalo packs more comic genius onto the stage than anything in recent memory!" - USA Today

"Ken Ludwig is one of those rare contemporary playwrights who thinks in terms of old-fashioned knockabout farce, and that’s something to be cherished." - The New York Times

"[R]oles that any actor of a certain age would give his or her soul to play." - The Boston Herald

"The funniest show in New York […] The comedy has audiences rolling in the aisles. The second act has a show-within-a-show spoof of Private Lives with everybody in the wrong costumes reading the wrong lines. This has to be one of the most hysterical things ever put onstage. I have seen Moon Over Buffalo three times! I expect you to see it once." - New York Post (Liz Smith)

"Moon Over Buffalo is hilarious! Ludwig stuffs his play with comic invention, running gags and neat sense of absurdity. An evening of farcical delight. Go and enjoy!" - New York Post (Clive Barnes)

"Moon Over Buffalo is by far Broadway’s funniest, most enjoyable lighthearted play. Buy a ticket!" - Entertainment Weekly

"Stuffed with comic invention, running gags and a superb sense of absurdity, this is truly a love-letter to live theatre." - Insidebayarea.com

"Moon Over Buffalo is what a staged comedy should be. It is a wild and wacky farce. It’s Waiting for Guffman meets Noises Off meets your favorite Shakespeare comedy as performed by the Marx Brothers. Be prepared to leave the theater exhausted from laughter." - The News Tribune, WA

Videos

  • Meet The Playwright: Ken Ludwig
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Large Stage

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1950s
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Onstage and backstage at the Erlanger Theatre, Buffalo, New York, 1953
  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy, Stage Combat
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Elaborate / High Volume Costumes, Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

4m, 4f
GEORGE HAY
CHARLOTTE HAY
ETHEL
ROSALIND
HOWARD
EILEEN
PAUL
RICHARD
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Parts for Senior Actors

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Authors

Ken Ludwig

Ken Ludwig is a two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright whose work is performed throughout the world in more than thirty countries and over twenty languages. He has written twenty-four plays and musicals, with six Broadway productions and seven in London’s West End. His Tony-winning play Lend Me A Tenor, was called " ...

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Moon Over Buffalo premiered on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre on October 1, 1995. It was produced by Elizabeth Williams, Heidi Landesman, DTL Entertainment, Hal Luftig and Jujamcyn Theatres.

The play was subsequently presented in London on October 15, 2001 under the title Over the Moon at The Old Vic by BIll Kenwright.

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