If we go by this film, the theatre world could take the gold medal in backstabbing.
I saw "Moon Over Buffalo" on Broadway. Throughout the first act, you wondered whether the play was really funny, or if it was that Philip Bosco & Carol Burnett were so good. The second act, you just screamed all the way through. I mention Bosco first because, although not apparent here, he had the lead role in the show, with a great deal of slapstick. He and Burnett were both wonderful, but Bosco was not overshadowed by Burnett. It was a very funny show.
The snobbery on display here is fascinating. The director disparages Burnett behind her back for being a tv actress. I guess the Broadway shows she did in the late 50's-early 60's don't count.
And I really felt sorry for Ken Ludwig, the playwright, who is treated as if he were a black cat continually crossing the path of everyone connected with the show. His "Lend Me A Tenor" is a brilliant farce, and "Moon Over Buffalo" is only slightly below that in quality. He really gets a shaft up his ass here, with no justification. His lead character in "Lend Me A Tenor" is feckless, likable, nervous and ultimately talented. Watching him here, it is obvious that he based the character on himself.
But, as in his plays, Ludwig gets the last laugh. At the end of this film, a list scrolls by of all the productions of "Moon Over Buffalo" around the world. Everyone has moved on to other projects, but Ludwig is still making money off of this. Good.
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