Harvest Moon Brings Obies to Broadway

It is strange enough having three shows with the word moon in their titles being performed on Broadway at the same time, but to have an Oberlin alum in the cast of each is stranger still. Strange but true. It happened last fall: Melissa Chalsma '89, Andy Taylor '82, and Bill Irwin '73 all appeared in moonstruck productions this fall.

Melissa Chalsma, a newcomer to the Broadway stage, landed the role of Bridget in the Roundabout Theater Company's production of Harold Pinter's Moonlight. Bridget is a ghost, the dead teenage daughter of the dying Andy (Jason Robards) and his wife, Bel (Blythe Danner). Bridget haunts the play, framing its progression with monologues that both open and close the work. According to a review in the Daily News, Chalsma gave "an otherworldly figure quiet eloquence."

Andy Taylor appears with Carol Burnett and Philip Bosco in Ken Ludwig's Moon Over Buffalo, which is running through February at the Martin Beck Theatre. Taylor plays the role of Howard, a mild-mannered weatherman-one of several characters that help propel the action of this comical work about a second-rate 1950s touring acting troupe. Taylor has recently guest starred on the television series Law and Order, and he performed opposite Sarah Jessica Parker in the NBC remake of Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys, which also starred Woody Allen and Peter Falk. Taylor proudly pointed out in his Stagebill biography that he is an Oberlin Conservatory of Music graduate and that he made his Carnegie Hall debut as a cellist in 1992.

Bill Irwin is no stranger to Broadway or to his current show Fool Moon, for that matter. Irwin returned with his costar David Shiner for a second run of the production at the Ambassador Theatre. Fool Moon is a "harum-scarum two-man revue, as well as a brisk review of the art of mime, the circus, vaudeville and silent-film comedy," wrote New York Times theater critic Vincent Canby. Irwin has as much talent for drama as he does for comedy-he has appeared with Steve Martin, Robin Williams, and F. Murray Abraham in Waiting for Godot and in George Wolfe's Central Park production of Shakespeare's The Tempest.

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