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University of Iowa News Release

July 1, 2005

Opening July 14, 'Moon Over Buffalo' Completes Iowa Summer Rep

The backstage farce "Moon Over Buffalo" will complete the Iowa Summer Rep festival of comedies by Ken Ludwig, opening at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 14 in E.C. Mabie Theatre of the University of Iowa Theatre Building. Additional performances will be at 8 p.m. July 15, 16, 22 and 23.

In "Moon Over Buffalo," which again embodies Ludwig's playful love of the theater, a couple of acting has-beens (Tim Budd and Kathleen Huber) trip over their personal complications as they make one last desperate run at the spotlight.

"Seldom do I laugh out loud while reading a script, but the first time I read 'Moon' I found myself chuckling all the way through," says director Eric Forsythe, the UI Department of Theatre Arts faculty member who is also the artistic director of Iowa Summer Rep.

"Still, the real revelation was during auditions. Hearing the words read out loud by the actors was simply so funny I was in tears! And now in rehearsal we're finding so much to play with, from funny, funny bits to touching moments of real feeling. It's a wonderful play from a wonderful writer."

"Moon Over Buffalo" was the play that brought Carol Burnett back to Broadway, where she and Philip Bosco portrayed an early '50s theatrical couple touring to Buffalo with productions of "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "Private Lives." But this is no ordinary stop on the backloads circuit for these aging thespians, whose relationship is also past its prime. Famed director Frank Capra is rumored to be en route to a matinee, when they will have one last chance to be cast in big-time starring roles.

Critic Jean Brandau wrote, "If comedies and farces are your favorite choice of theatre, then 'Moon Over Buffalo' is sure to please. If you're an actor or a wanna-be actor, then you'll love it even more. It's one of those plays that shows the scenes behind the onstage scenes. In 'Moon Over Buffalo,' there are really three plays intertwined with each other. And, being a farce, you have all the craziness that includes five doors opening and closing, people hiding in closets, half-dressed actors, near misses in running into people who are hiding, mistaken identities and mass confusion..."

Artistic contributors to the Iowa Summer Rep production of "Moon Over Buffalo" include Craig Napoliello, set design; Andre Harrington, costume design; William Barbour, sound design: Jason Tipsword, fight director; and Tim Kaufman, lighting designer.

Iowa Summer Rep, the professional Actors Equity company organized by the University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts, has carved out a unique niche among professional summer companies during the last two decades by making each season a festival of plays by a single contemporary playwright.

Summer Rep is a U/RTA (University/Resident Theatre Association) company employing Equity actors and stage managers, as well as students who earn points toward their Actors Equity card.

The Department of Theatre Arts is a unit of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Iowa Summer Rep 2005 is supported by the University of Iowa Community Credit Union.

Tickets for "Moon Over Buffalo" are $22 ($17 for senior citizens, and $10 for UI students and youth). The play is also part of a discounted season subscription package, available through July 10, when "Lend Me a Tenor" closes. The other play in the package is the clever whodunit "Postmortem."

Individual tickets and series packages are available from the Hancher box office. Any remaining tickets for each performance will be available an hour before curtain time at the Theatre Building box office.

Hancher Auditorium summer box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website: http://www.hancher.uiowa.edu.

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <hancher-box-office@uiowa.edu>.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, ur-acr@uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073, winston-barclay@uiowa.edu

PHOTOS are available at http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa/photos.html.