Meet The Cast of ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ at Vagabond Players: Part 7: Richard Manichello

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In Part Seven of a series of interviews with the cast of Vagabond Players’ Moon Over Buffalo, meet Richard Manichello.

Joel: Please introduce yourselves and tell me why you wanted to be in the cast of Moon Over Buffalo?

Richard Manichello.
Richard Manichello.

Richard: My name is Richard Manichello. I had not played very much comedy, never a Farce, so it’s a piece of theater history, a discipline of physical antic acting that I wanted to experience.

Did you bring any personal experiences to your performance? How has your performance changed since the show opened?

I’ve never really been a ‘second banana’ in relationships, however, for an actor there is a long list of great roles and notable actors: Bob Cummings, Gig Young, Jack Palance, William H. Macy, Ty Hardin, Mr. Spock of course … a long list. My scene partner, Charlotte, has made me work harder to try to steal her away from the touring theater life. Your character gets deeper, purer, richer, more saturated with nuance and detail as the run proceeds.

Who do you play in the show and how do you relate to your character? Have your feelings for the character changed since the show began?

Richard Maynard is the interloper, lawyer-manager, and hanger-on to this touring company, who’s smitten with Charlotte Hay. Unfortunately, Charlotte is married. Her midlife crisis is brief so Richard’s romantic notions fizzle. An actor must sympathize and love his character, no matter how good or bad. No, my feelings have not changed. Maynard is empty, lonely, wealthy, looking for companionship and a beautiful woman to share luxurious treats and escapades with.

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?

The backstage of a backstage comedy is like a camera taking a picture of a camera, taking a picture… our director has led with a steady hand. No surprises.

What has surprised you about the audience reaction to the show and your performance?

How the comedy, somewhat dated situation comedy, has lasted and entertained younger audiences. Some comedy has no shelf life. Farce, or Ludwig’s simple jokes still make people laugh. Audiences seem to like Maynard, a show-off, even though he’s a cad and wife-chaser.

Why should audiences come and see Moon Over Buffalo?

Moon is a classic Farce. It’s also true to backstage follies and foils, to the crazy passion that actors indulge in when it comes to playing roles, working with each other, or against each other, the schadenfreude that actors sometimes embrace in the scramble for roles. We all suffer a little of that at times.

Richard Manichello, Michele Guyton, and Greg Guyton. Photo by Tom Lauer.
Richard Manichello, Michele Guyton, and Greg Guyton. Photo by Tom Lauer.

Why do you think Ken Ludwig’s play is so popular?

Television sitcom, and the Brit-com, are the legitimate stepchild of Farce. Ludwig embraces Vaudville, Restoration comedy, Chaplin-esque, Buster Keaton and Marx Brothers-esque type humor, even Burlesque. All of these things are in the DNA of American situation comedy and farce. Ludwig always presents a history of these styles.

Moon Over Buffalo plays through June 26, 2016 at the Vagabond Players—806 South Broadway, in Baltimore, MD. For tickets, call the box office at (410) 563-9135, or purchase them online.

LINKS:
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.

Meet The Cast of ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ at Vagabond Players: Part 7: Richard Manichello.

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Joel Markowitz
Joel Markowitz is the Publisher and Editor of DCMetroTheaterArts. He founded the site with his brother Bruce to help promote the vast riches of theatre and the arts in the DC Metro area that includes Maryland, Virginia, and DC theater and music venues, universities, schools, Children's theaters, professional, and community theatres. Joel is an advocate for promoting the 'stars of the future' in his popular 'Scene Stealers' articles. He wrote a column for 5 years called ‘Theatre Schmooze’ and recorded podcast interviews for DC Theatre Scene. His work can also be seen and read on BroadwayStars. Joel also wrote a monthly preview of what was about to open in DC area theatres for BroadwayWorld. He is an avid film and theater goer, and a suffering Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan. Joel was a regular guest on 'The Lunch and Judy Show' radio program starring Judy Stadt in NYC. Joel founded The Ushers Theatre Going Group in the DC area in 1990, which had a 25-year run when it took its final curtain call last year. Joel is a proud member of The American Critics Association.