Slamming doors tickling funny bones

GREENFIELD — Ken Ludwig’s “Moon Over Buffalo” almost defines the word farce.

The play is the CrazyLake Acting Company’s laugh-a-minute, door-slamming farce on stage for the next two weekends at the H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts.

The fun begins early on with the romping sword play between aging theater stars George Hay (played by Lee McCarty) and his wife, Charlotte (played by Chris Vetters).

It continues through the hormonal, hysterical tears of newly pregnant secretary Eileen (played by Amy Studabaker) and the not-so-happy reunion between the Hays’ daughter, Roz (Sydera Theobald), and her one-time boyfriend, Paul (Patrick Gawrys-Strand).

Adding to the hilarity are the in-and-out misunderstandings and mistaken identity of Roz’s new boyfriend, Howard (played by Corey Yeaman), and then a desperate search to find a drunken George in time to impress a Hollywood director who has flown into town to see their matinee performance.

CrazyLake’s history is full of examples of farce, with “Inspecting Carol,” “Run for Your Wife” and “Rumors.” The company’s offshoot theater program for children, KidsPlay, has even been known to do a farce or two.

Perhaps that’s because they’re so much fun.

“Fun, but not easy,” Vetters said. “The timing is critical for the onstage-offstage movement and to get the laughs we want.”

Steve Kemp, who plays Richard, a long time flame of Charlotte’s, added: “We have to pay attention backstage and listen for entrances and exits, and sometimes count the seconds between the time a door shuts on stage before another door opens.”

With five doors in the show, that’s no easy task.

“We numbered them,” said Jan Hodson, who plays Charlotte Hay’s nearly deaf mother, Ethel. “And we have a chart backstage for which doors we’re supposed to enter and exit through.”

Get your tix:

“Moon Over Buffalo” plays at the H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts at 122 W. Main St. in Greenfield on Fridays and Saturdays Feb. 6, 7, 13, and 14 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 15, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available online in advance for $10 at or at the door for $12. Call 317-477-ARTS for more information.