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Over the Moon Over Buffalo

The+cast+of+%22Moon+Over+Buffalo%22%3A+Sam+Sanchez%2C+Alaya+Long%2C+Andrew+Barron%2C+Tyler+Pullen%2C+Jacob+Estrada%2C+Emma+Wrigley%2C+Tala+Qasqas%2C+Ashley+Galdamez%2C+Danielle+Pryor%2C+Mikhail+Yamout%2C+Michael+Miller%2C+Jahmal+Rogers%2C+Clarisse+Guevarra%2C+Jesse+Craig.+Photograph+by+Amamda+Figueroa
The cast of

The cast of "Moon Over Buffalo": Sam Sanchez, Alaya Long, Andrew Barron, Tyler Pullen, Jacob Estrada, Emma Wrigley, Tala Qasqas, Ashley Galdamez, Danielle Pryor, Mikhail Yamout, Michael Miller, Jahmal Rogers, Clarisse Guevarra, Jesse Craig. Photograph by Amamda Figueroa

The cast of "Moon Over Buffalo": Sam Sanchez, Alaya Long, Andrew Barron, Tyler Pullen, Jacob Estrada, Emma Wrigley, Tala Qasqas, Ashley Galdamez, Danielle Pryor, Mikhail Yamout, Michael Miller, Jahmal Rogers, Clarisse Guevarra, Jesse Craig. Photograph by Amamda Figueroa

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COHS Drama’s production Moon Over Buffalo left its audience in stitches–metaphorically, of course, but the same could not be said for the characters in this play. This production, directed by drama teacher Roger Graziani, was Charter Oak’s adaptation of a play by the same name written in 1995 by Ken Ludwig. The story follows the Hay family, a theatrical group that seeks fame and fortune through theatre.

Without knowing what the play is about, you might think that you are walking into a bad performance of Cyrano de Bergerac with a comically obvious disinterest in its performance with the exception of the overly dramatic lead. However, there is a smooth transition from George Hay’s performance by junior Jacob Estrada when the audience learns about the family-run theatre company has serious issues.

As advertised, the play was thoroughly enjoyable and had plenty of moments for the audience to laugh at this disastrous family. The cast was wonderfully dramatic from the near-deaf grandmother Ethel, played by Tala Qasqas, junior, to Roz’s nervous fianceé, Howard, performed by Jesse Craig, senior. Leads Jacob Estrada and Emma Wrigley, junior, who played spouses George and Charlotte Hay, worked well off of each other and with the rest of the cast. The stunts were well performed, some of which involved being gagged and dragged into a closet or falling off the stage and having a nose thrown at the lead by his mother-in-law.

The main conflict of the play involved the family’s anticipation for the arrival of the director Frank Capra, who would watch their theatre group’s performance of Private Lives (or, debatably, Cyrano de Bergerac). Due to the smallness of the theatre company, George is distraught when his wife leaves with Richard, a rich lawyer who fancies Charlotte. Richard is played by played a debonair Tyler Pullen, senior,  This leaves Geprge with missing roles in the play and certain doom for all of the characters who wish to achieve stardom. When Charlotte learns of this, she returns only to find out that George has gone on a drinking stint. The back-and-forths that follow make up the bulk of the play, with characters disappearing and reappearing at the most inopportune times and with Grandma Ethel stuck in the middle of all of it.

The play itself has its predictable moments as well as its unexpected twists. “Normal girl” Rosalind, played by Ashley Galdamez, sophomore, ends up becoming abnormal again after going back to her calamitous family. Furthermore, she gets back together with her old boyfriend Paul, played by Mikhail Yamout, junior. However, this event is accompanied by an interesting turn of events when Roz’s fiancee leaves her for Eileen, the woman that her father impregnated. The distraught Eileen is played by Danielle Pryor, junior.

Amusingly enough, the comedy of this play is in the tragedy. It humors the audience to watch these characters endure everyday pains, only to find out that the performance that they were stressed about did not matter in the end. As it traditionally does, the comedy ends happily with the Hay’s dysfunctional family coming back together despite their issues. Also, their opportunity to impress Frank Capra still remains, though whether it will happen is questionable.

Moon Over Buffalo is a great example of what COHS drama is capable of. There is no reason not to go to a performance, as it is much cheaper than the Pantages while maintaining quality acting. If you find yourself in a mundane routine, seeing a live performance is an enjoyable experience. As an added bonus, many teachers offer extra credit for attending. So, be sure to support the drama department; it is well worth it.

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Over the Moon Over Buffalo