Stampede to see 'Buffalo' is goal

The folks at Paragon Theatre are hoping that history will repeat itself with another hit when Ken Ludwig's "Moon Over Buffalo" opens tomorrow night.

In January, they had their biggest hit to date with Ludwig's "Lend Me a Tenor," when most performances played to capacity audiences. Like "Tenor," this fast-paced farce also promises plenty of laughs to the audiences at Trifles Restaurant in Crownsville.


"Moon Over Buffalo" was an instant hit when it opened on Broadway in October 1995. After a 30-year absence, Carol Burnett was lured back to Broadway to the role of Charlotte Hay, a nearly washed-up, long-married stage actress, who dreams of starring in a Frank Capra film. Philip Bosco played Charlotte's equally washed-up, usually inebriated actor husband George on Broadway. Both actors received Tony nominations.

In the play, Ludwig takes us back to 1953 Buffalo, where George and Charlotte are doing "Private Lives" and "Cyrano" in a rundown theater managed by Charlotte's mother, Ethel. The couple's daughter, Roz, has given up acting for advertising and is engaged to Howard, a TV weatherman. Other players include Eileen, an ingenue who gets involved with George; Richard, a lawyer involved with Charlotte; and stage manager Paul.


Charlotte and George learn that Capra is coming to Buffalo to catch their matinee hoping to cast his film "Twilight of the Scarlet Pimpernel," which may prove to be the aging couple's last chance at Hollywood.

Directed by Paragon Theatre founder Herman Kemper, the cast is headed by two veteran actors, theater arts teacher Marta Caulfield as Charlotte and television actor Gerald Riley as George. Skilled comedienne Eva Jean Berg, recently seen in Paragon's "Tenor," plays Ethel.

Dancer and actress Courtney Adams makes her Paragon debut as Roz. Veteran actor, producer and director Edward McGee plays Richard. Bill Hughes, who proved a versatile comedian in Paragon's last show, "Russian Roulette," returns in this production as Paul. Moriah Spector and Sarah Cowie will alternate in the role of Eileen. Michael Speights makes his Paragon debut as Howard.

Before the show, the audience can enjoy full-service dining. Beverages and dessert are also included in the price of $35.

Trifles Restaurant is at 1397 Generals Highway in Crownsville. "Moon Over Buffalo" opens tomorrow and continues through Sept. 10 on weekends. On Fridays and Saturdays, dinner is at 6 p.m. with performances at 8 p.m. On Sundays, dinner is at 5 p.m. and the show at 7 p.m.

Reservations and information: 410-923-6600.