Hanford High's 'Moon Over Buffalo' opens Nov. 8

By Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldNovember 7, 2013 

If laughter truly is the best medicine, then theater lovers won't want to miss Moon Over Buffalo by Hanford High drama students.

"This is absolutely one of the funniest stage pieces of all time," said student actor Camren Bleiler, who plays George Hay.

Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8-9, 15-16 in the school's auditorium, 450 Hanford Ave., Richland. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for students and seniors, and are available at the door.

As the story unfolds, Moon Over Buffalo blends slapstick with situation comedy, accented with a smattering of sexual innuendo.

It follows vagabond actors George and Charlotte Hay. He is perfectly happy as a stage actor, but his wife has grandiose dreams of being a Hollywood film star.

Then, out of the blue, George gets a call from famous film director Frank Capra, who is looking for replacements for Greer Garson and Ronald Colman for his film The Twilight of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Capra tells George he plans to drop by and observe the couple, who are appearing in Cyrano de Bergerac and Private Lives, to see if he likes them.

Charlotte doesn't believe him because she's just found out George is having an affair.

Though the play may have a hint of an adult theme, the teen actors are having fun stretching their talents.

"What I love about theater is being part of something bigger than myself," said Emily Doughty, 18, who plays Charlotte. "Theater is kind of like making a quilt, stitching pieces together to make something great."

Bleiler, 17, says he and Doughty have been dating in real life since they were freshmen, which gives them an edge in their roles as husband and wife.

He also credits the cast with great comedic timing.

"Not only does the comedy batter the audience like artillery shells," Bleiler said. "The quick back-and-forth banter of the characters gives (us) actors so much room for chemistry that the show keeps the action moving along at a mile a second."

Director Matt Leggett isn't worried the theme of Moon Over Buffalo is too adult-oriented for his teen actors, though he does rate the production PG-13.

"As long as we choose appropriate material, deal with the story and characters with integrity, clearly communicating with students, administrators and audience, we feel confident that we are doing good theater and providing an excellent education," Leggett said. "After that we are willing to bear the slings and arrows of those who disagree."

w Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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