In Part Six of a series of interviews with the cast of Vagabond Players’ Moon Over Buffalo, meet Henry Reisinger, Jr.
Joel: Please introduce yourselves and tell me why you wanted to be in the cast of Moon Over Buffalo?
Henry: My name is Henry Reisinger, Jr. I wanted to be in the cast of Moon for a few reasons. While I have seen shows at Vagabonds, I have never had the chance to perform here. My schedule was hectic during the rehearsal period but I knew that director John Desmone would be able to work around my conflicts. Also, I love to play a comedic role. While I have done mostly musicals, I wanted to take my comedic timing to a play.
Did you bring any personal experiences to your performance? How has your performance changed since the show opened?
I have had plenty of experienced being beat on and pushed around to be able to bring to my performance. Most of which was for the stage. Physical comedy was one of my strongest traits. While my new body is still building up to what physical comedy I could do, it was fun to be able to do some in the show. My performance has not changed much since the show opened other than audience reactions. The joy of comedy is that some people laugh at one joke, while others laugh at something completely different. Each show reminders you that while you are listening to other actors to react, you also are listening to the audience to react.
Who do you play in the show and how do you relate to your character? Has your feelings for the character changed since the show began?
In Moon Over Buffalo I play Howard, a weather man and fiancé to Roz. The way that I relate to this character is by sometimes saying things I believe to be right but are really wrong. I’m also much of the nervous nerd that he presents. We both have a desire to please others through gifts. My feelings for the character have changed slightly since the beginning of the show. Upon first reading the play, I thought that he wasn’t really sure what he wanted. Through developing how I was playing the role, I realized that he does know what he wants just not as confident about going to get it.
What have been some of the things that have not gone as planned during the performance and how did you handle it? What have been some of the funniest moments of playing your character?
When you are using props, I’ve learned that things will not go as planned! Because of this, I started early about thinking of what I could do. Since I use a prop gun and expect it to work, one performance it didn’t. I had two strong back up lines that I could add without the shot which would still go with the character and allow the other actors to respond and keep the show going. Some of the funniest moments are just reactions of the other characters. When you are playing in a comedy, everyone takes things in different directions to find the right way for their character. Those reactions can throw you and just make you want to laugh.
What has surprised you about the audience reaction to the show and your performance?
The most surprising thing has been the change between which jokes are picked up on. One night every New York joke was laughed at. Another night many of the references of people in the 1950s were roared at. When things change at the end of the show, some nights people have a ‘chuckle’ about it while other nights people seem to ‘ugh’ the idea of the ending.
Why should audiences come and see Moon Over Buffalo?
Audiences should come and see Moon Over Buffalo to just laugh! There are so many jokes that reach different types of people. Whether it be the physical comedy, the story comedy or the one liners that make you giggle, this show pleases a variety of funny bones.
Why do you think Ken Ludwig’s play is so popular?
For the same reason that audiences should comes see the play, is why Ludwig’s play is so popular. He writes comedy but it’s up to the actor on how to deliver the joke.
Review: ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ at Vagabond Players by Lauren Honeycutt on DCMetroTheaterArts.
Meet The Cast of ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ at Vagabond Players: Part 1: Caroline Kiebach.
Meet The Cast of ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ at Vagabond Players: Part 2: Jess Kim.
Meet The Cast of ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ at Vagabond Players: Part 3: Moon Over Buffalo Cast: Michelle Guyton.
Meet The Cast of ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ at Vagabond Players: Part 4: Carol Carol Conley Evans.
Meet The Cast of ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ at Vagabond Players: Part 5: Greg Guyton.
Meet The Cast of ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ at Vagabond Players: Part 6: Henry Reisinger, Jr.