Olympia Little Theatre opened its season with “Moon Over Buffalo,” a quick-witted and saucy comedy by Ken Ludwig that brings the world of back east Buffalo, N.Y., to the West Coast.
Set in the 1950s, the innuendo and slapstick-filled show centers on the world of George (played by Tom Sanders) and Charlotte Hay (Rikki Corey). They are traveling actors and are performing “Cyrano de Bergerac” and “Private Lives” at a repertory theater in Buffalo.
Charlotte has her eyes on stardom in Hollywood while George prefers the stage to a future on the screen.
Then comes a call.
A noted film director needs replacements for the two stars of his current project, a film version of the musical “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” He wants to see a performance by George and Charlotte to see if they are right for the parts.
Here’s the rub: Charlotte thinks the gig is a smoke screen George cooked up to keep her mind on the performance rather than on dwelling on the news that he has seen sharing spit with another actress in the show. That actress, Eileen, is pregnant with George’s child.
The plot twists and turns fairly quickly from there for a while as jealousy, mistaken identity and alcohol fuel fun and folly. All seems lost after the director is reportedly in the audience to scope out George’s show only to have heavily intoxicated George wear the wrong costume and stumble into the orchestra pit.
Once the smoke and dust clears from the performance from hell, things go from bad to tolerable after everyone forgives each other and the twisted tale unwinds. The phone rings again. The big-time film director missed the just completed, afternoon performance and plans instead to see the show in the evening, thus allowing George and Charlotte another chance at Hollywood stardom.
All becomes right with the world just in time for the curtain to drop. What makes the show work is the comedic timing of many of the bits as well as the physical demands Sanders and crew have to endure. The acting craft was worked overtime to make the scenes seem naturally zany.
“Moon Over Buffalo” ends its run this weekend with performances at 7:55 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 1:55 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $10 to $12 and available at Yenney Music Co. on Harrison Avenue by calling 360. 943.7500 or by going online at www.buyolympia.com/events. The theater is located at 1925 Miller Ave. N.E. in Olympia. For more information, call 360.786.9484 or visit www.olympialittletheater.org.
“Little Shop of Horrors”
Also ending its run this weekend is Paradise Theatre’s staging of “Little Shop of Horrors,” a musical comedy of the classic sci-fi movie ilk about a plant that has a craving for human flesh. This spoof of the 1950’s B movie thriller had a revival on Broadway in 2003 and a hit movie a few years earlier that brought it back to stages around the nation. It’s one of those shows that is fun for children and adults although parents should be advised that it does contain a scene and a few references concerning an abusive relationship.
The cast includes: K. James Koop as Seymour, Ivy Steinberg as Audrey, Brian Lewis as Orin the Dentist, Jim Curry as Mushnik, Carrie Nelson as Ronnette, Lydia Dallal as Chiffon, Alicia Mendez as Crystal, Jonah Spool as the plant’s voice, and James Knickerbocker as the plant. The show runs 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 4 p.m. on Sunday at 9911 Burnham Dr. N.W. in Gig Harbor. Tickets are available at www.paradisetheatre.org or by calling 253.851.PLAY.