Spotlight Issue: January 2000

County Players Presents
Moon Over Buffalo

The County Players production of the hilarious Ken Ludwig play Moon Over Buffalo will be presented February 4, 5, 11,12,18, and 19, at the company’s playhouse located on Route 9D in the Village of Wappingers Falls with curtain times at 8:00 PM.

At first glance, theater about theater seems a bit self-indulgent. However, in the capable hands of playwright Ken Ludwig, who has made a career of lampooning the escapades of performing arts groups (Lend Me a Tenor, Crazy for You), the result is riotous comedy. His Moon over Buffalo is the perfect diversion from the midwinter blues.

The play follows the antics of husband and wife George and Charlotte Hay (Larry Maranville and Elise P. Godfrey, respectively), an over-the-hill and under-the-gun acting team struggling desperately to make something of their plummeting careers, which have landed them in exile on the repertory theater circuit in the cultural wasteland of Buffalo, NY, circa 1953. When word arrives that Hollywood giant Frank Capra might attend a matinee performance of their latest production, the couple goes to absurd lengths to make the most of the opportunity.

Ann Marie Paoli plays the couple’s daughter, Rosalind, whose reluctance to undertake a life in theater provides much comic grist. She is paired with Kevin Barnes, who plays Paul, the company’s young leading man and Rosalind’s erstwhile lover. Linda Roper plays Ethel, Charlotte’s mother and the company’s costume maker, a brash, half-deaf crone whose distaste for her son-in-law is rarely concealed. Peter Dawson is Howard, the gallant if overshooting weatherman who is Rosalind’s fiancé. Kelley-Ann Royce portrays Eileen, the pregnant ingenue with a predisposition toward doleful pouting and teary exits. Paul Coleman plays the Hay’s lawyer, Richard, who has endured a lifelong crush on Charlotte.

Director Lou Miressi has had quite a challenge in bringing together this production. He was originally slated to direct Same Time Next Year. Said Miressi after one rehearsal, “You [the cast] are doing a great job. I’m laughing more now than I was when I initially read the play. ” For a director to be able to sit back an enjoy the show, it has to be something special. We think you’ll agree.

Tickets $12 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and children under 12. To purchase tickets, please call the box office at 298-1491.

Top Ten

The Taconic Press, publisher of the Weekend, has selected its list of the top ten theatrical productions of 1999. County Players is proud to have produced two of the plays on that list. Last season’s Lost in Yonkers directed by Jeff Wilson and this season’s Dancing at Lughnasa directed by Bill Peckham were both selected. The continuing goal of County Players is to present good theater. We would like to thank the publishers and critics at the Weekend for this recognition. We’d also like to thank you, our patrons, for your continued support. Congratulations to the directors, casts and crews of both of these fine productions.

My Kingdom for a Parking Place!

One of the most frequent complaints we hear is the difficulty our patrons have in parking for our shows. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done due to the geography of the village. We suggest you drop off as many passengers as possible at the blocked off section in front of the theater then continue south on Route 9D to park in the municipal lot on Reservoir Pl. or near the Church at the top of the hill. Parking on the street is also viable but be aware of parking restrictions. And please be sure not to park in any business lot where you could be towed away (e.g.. behind the pharmacy on the corner) . County Players can not take responsibility for any individual’s parking violation.

County Players History

Twenty years ago: In January 1980, County Players was about to open a production of Neil Simon’s great comedy The Sunshine Boys featuring Peter Edman and Art Weinberg. Art returned to County Players two years ago to perform again in The Sunshine Boys.

Ten years ago: In February 1990, the play in production at CP was Kaufman and Hart’s The Man Who Came to Dinner. That production starred our own Tom Lawrence, currently serving as President of CP. It also featured a rare stage appearance by Paul Schwerman.

From the President

Welcome, 2000! I trust that all of us enjoyed a rousing welcome to the new millennium. Yes, County Players is Y2K ready and we are prepared to keep up the momentum. We are all looking forward to Moon Over Buffalo, a Ken Ludwig comedy that replaced our previous selection of Same Time Next Year (which was unavailable for amateur license). For those of you who remember, Ken Ludwig wrote Lend Me a Tenor which CP produced a few years ago to enthusiastic audience response.

Also coming up are auditions for the Spring musical, The Secret Garden. Set in the brooding Yorkshire moor country, this show presents the familiar Frances Hodgson Burnett classic to the beautiful strains of Lucy Simon’s music and lyrics of Marsha Norman. Under the able direction of Anna Marie Martino, this will be a production not to be missed!

The Board of Governors is in the middle of selecting its 2000-2001 season. We expect to announce our choices as early as March.

All of us at CP wish each of you the happiest in the New Year.

Tom Lawrence – President

Box Office

The Box Office will be open weeknights from 6:00 to 9:00PM the week of January 30 for direct telephone sales. We also plan to be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 to 9:00 PM in January and Thursdays in February, 6:00 – 9:00 PM. Feel free to call (914) 298-1491 any time and leave a message to reserve your tickets for all County Players productions. Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Please be sure to leave your name and phone number so that we may contact you if there is a problem with your reservation.

CP on the Web

Check us out at http://www.countyplayers.org/ We’ve expanded our coverage of activities, events, and other theater resources. There’s even a message board where you can make suggestions or send congratulations to your favorites from our productions. Best of all, it’s all free. We’d like to hear from you!

Mailing List Purge Complete

In January we edited our mailing list down to a more manageable size. Toward the end of last year we hit an all-time high of just over 1900 names and addresses on our list. Now we are well below 1000 including our members. Thanks to all who returned their labels in order to stay on our list. If we dropped your name by mistake, please find the mailing list sign-up sheet in the theater lobby. We’ll be happy to put you back on distribution. And our apologies for that mistake.